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FAMOUS WAR CORRBSPONDENTS 



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"Newaofbkttkl Nswi of bkttlel 

Hukl ' tia ringiiig down the ■tt««ti 
And the archwAjr* and tbe pavement 

Bear tbe dang of hmryiug feet. 
Nmra of battlel Wbo hai brought itF" 

— W. E. Anoux, 
lagt i4 At SaaOM CimMan. 



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by Google 



SIR WILLIAU HOWARD RUSSELL 
Fronlirpiect 



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FAMOUS WAR 
CORRESPONDENTS 



F. LADMSTON BULLARD 

DTBOR or " HUTORIO SIIHliXB BAnXn," BtC 



BOSTON 

LITTLE, BEOWN AND COMPANY 

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E. L. B., 

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PREFACE 

Ab this preface is writteD, journalistic enterprise is 
confronted with a clamoring demand for news of a war 
which promises to be the greatest in modem history 
and with an absolute embargo decreed upon publidty 
by nearly all the nations of Europe. Heretofore war 
correspondents have been able to cross frontiers and 
reach neutral cities and uncensored cable and telegraph \ 
stations, whence they have forwarded their despatches. .' 
London often has been a great clearing house for war 
news. In the Russo-Japanese war, correspondents 
several times rode to Chinese ports with budgets of 1 
imix>rtant despatches; in the Balkan war they made ^ 
their way out of the rout and welter of Turkish defeats ' 
to Roumania. But there is no place in this Conti- 
nental struggle to which a correspondent may go with 
the hope of finding a free wire. Moreover, the move- 
m^its of news men with the armies are likely to be more 
restricted than in any previous war and this because of 
the new conditions brought about by modem science. 
Methods of communicaUon are so nearly instantaneous, 
and means of travel so swift, that governments will not 
permit reporters to enjoy the intimate touch with armies 
in the field which gave such men as William Howard 
Russell, Archibald Forbes and Januarius A. MacGahan 
the materials for their thrilling narraUves. The ten- 
dency to apply the muffler has been apparent for years; 
Lord Roberts in South Africa tolerated only the free 



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viii PREFACE 

use of the mails; tlie Japanese in Manchuria "enter- 
tained" the presa men elaborately but kept them a 
long way from the front; in the Balkan war only the 
coire^Mndents with the Turks had any degree of 
liberty. Today the cables of Exirope are controlled 
by the war departments of the Powers. No such rigid 
censorship has before been known. Upon the day on 
which this is written a despatch comes to my attention 
stating that cables for publication must pass the 
scrutiny of nine censors before delivoy to the pi4>er8 
addressed. 

The geaeral result is likdy to be not the su[^ressi(»i 
of the news but the delaying of it. The facts will be 
told sooner or later. But military strat^y will restore 
the conditions of the early years of war correspondency 
when Washington waited for weeks to leam that 
General Taylor had not been annihilated at Buena 
^^sta and London read the "Crimean Letters" long 
after Russell had penned them. Nevertheless several 
American correspondents have been sent across the 
Atlantic, Richard Harding Davis among them, and 
many of the best known En^ish correspondents are 
going to do what can be done at the front, among whom 
is Fred^c Wliers, who may soon add a new t^pla 
to bis picturesque career. Upon the other hand, one 
American periodical will employ a "correspondent"* 
whose desk will be in its own office and whose function 
will be to summarize the history of the war at long 
range. Personally I am of the opinion that it is of 
vast importance to himianity that the truth shall be 
told about war, and that publicity is the greatest agency 
for the promotion of the cause of peace; also that in 
time a way will be found for the competent news man 
to tell what he sees, bis freedom being restricted periiapa 



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PREFACE k 

for weeks at a stretch by the exigencies of the military 
situation. 

This book contains a collection of bic^raphical 
sketches of representative war correspondents. I am 
wdl aware that many men with valid claims to dis- 
tinction as followers of the warpath are merely men- 
tioned, if tiiey u% alluded to at all, and that a volume 
<^ vivid tales could be compiled from the lives of such 
artists and reporters as Melton Prior, H. C. Seppings 
Wright, Julius Mendes Price, "Crimean" Simpson, 
John Alexander Cameron, Lionel James, fVederick 
Boyle, William Beattie Kingston, and "Fred" 
Bumaby, to name but a few of the long list. A large 
amoimt of material remains unused in my hands. 
Tias selection has been based upon principles easy to 
understand : that both men of action like Bennet Bur- 
leigh and men of distinguished literary artistry like • 
George Warrington Steevens should be included; that 
while treating of correspondents who "cover" the same 
wars for rival joiunals, duplication should be avoided 
by a judicious choice of incidents, and that the range 
and variety of the work of the special ctnrespondent 
should be indicated by taking the read^ to campaigns 
in all quarters of the world. Also the method of ar- 
rangement has been such that practically a history of 
wax correspondence is contained in the volume. The 
citations from despatches are intended both to aid in 
the narration of their adventures and to indicate the 
quality of the prose that was written by the earlier 
correspondents who used the mail and the later ones ■ 
who dashed for the wire. I do not claim to have dis- 
covered new facts, but I have a measure of pride in the 
attempt to rescue from forgetfulness the exploits (^ 
George Wilkins Kendall and the other Americans whose 



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X PREFACE 

pioneer work for the press has never been rect^nized 
in the history of journalism. 

My sources of information have been numerous. 
It is a pleasant duty to refer to the books and arti- 
cles by the correspondents themselves from which I 
have gleaned most of my facts, and to such biogra- 
phiea as that of Russell, by John Black Atkins- I have 
been a diligent student of the files of the newspapers 
and pictorial weeklies of England and the United 
States. Of those who have rendered personal assist- 
ance I would thank especially Dr. Frank Horace 
^^zetelly, whose kindly generosity in the loan oS 
documents and photographs is greatly appreciated; 
Mrs. Georgina £. Fellowes, the dau^ter of Major 
Kendall; Mr. Paul MacGahan, the son of the 
"Liberator of Bulgaria"; John M. LeSage, Esq., the 
managing editor of the DaU^ Tdegraph; Mr. William 
Beer, of the Howard Memorial library of New Orleans; 
Prof. Albert Bushnell Hart; General T. Dimitrieff, of 
Sofia, Bulgaria; the Rev. Henry E. Wing; and others 
who have helped me to ascertain facts difficult to v^ify. 

I am under obligations also to Mr. J. B. Millet for 
the loan of the portrait group of his brother, the late 
Francis D. Millet, and Mr. MacGahan; to the Century 
Company, for the portrait of William H. Russell; to 
Smith, Elder & Company, for the portrait of Edmond 
OnDonovan; and to Kegan Paul, Trench. Trllbner & 
Company, iox that of Henry Richard Vizetelly. 

F. Laurtston Bduabd. 
Boston, Septembca- 1, 1914. 



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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Acknowledgement is made of the courtesy of the 
following publishers who gave permission for the use 
of quoted material as here listed: 

William Blackwood & Sons, from G. W. Steevens's "With 
the Conquering Turk " and *' With Etchener to Khartoum "; 

The Canadian Magazine, from articles by Frederic 
VUhera; 

Cassell & Company, Ltd.. from Archibald Forbes's 
"Memories of War and Peace"; 

Chapman & Ball, Ltd., from Benaet Burl^gh's "Desert 
Warfare," "Sirdar and Khalifa" and "The Khartoum 
Campaign"; 

Chatto & Wmdus, from E. A. Vizetelly's "The Lover's 
Progress"; 

Dodd, Mead & Company, from Steevens's *'Ciq>etown 
to Ladysmith," and to Mr. James B. Pinker, owner of the 
English copyright of the work; 

Duckworth & Company, from the English edition of 
George W. Smalley's "Anglo-American Memories"; 

Longmans, Green & Company, from E. F. Knight's 
"Madagascar in War 'Hme." Winston Churchill's "Stoiy of 
the Malakand F^eld Force" and " From London to Ladysniith"; 

Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company, from James Cred- 
man's "On the Great Highw^"; 

McCluie's Magazine, from an article by Gec»^ W. 
Smalley; 

Mn'Tu'llfi & Company, Ltd., from Forbes's "Souvenirs 
of Some Continents" and "The War Correspondence of the 
Daily News"; 

C. Arthur Pearson, Ltd., from E. H. Vizetelly's "Cyprus 
to Zanzibar"; 

G. P. Putnam's Sons, from Smalley's "Anglo-American 



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™ ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

G«wge BouUedge & Sons, Ltd., frcsn W. B. Ruasell's 
"Tte Crimean War," "My Disiy in India," and "My 
Diary during the Last Great War"; 

Sampson, Low, Marston & Company, from J. A. Mac- 
Gahan's " Catnpaigoiiig on the Oxua"; 

Smith, Elder & Company titHn E. O'Donovan's "The 
Merv Oa«8"; 

T. F^er Unwin, from Burlei^'s "Two Campaigns. ** 



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CONTENTS 
OBAnsK WAom 
,, T The War Corre^mnd^it: His Rise and the Prob- 
lematical Future of his 'PnieBOxm 1 

n % William How^ Russell 81 

in Aichibald Forbes W 

IV Jamiarius Aloynufl MacGahao 115 

V Frederick Vilh'ers 155 

VI Bennet Burldg^ IM 

Vn Edmond ODonovan 281 

Vni The Five Viwtellys «47 

K Edward Frederick Kni^t !»e 

■^ X Geo^e Wairingtcih Steevens 804 

XI Winston SpenovChurduII MO 

XII James Credman 888 

Xm Geo^ WiUdns Kendall 851 

XIV "Covering" the Civil War in America 875 

XV Beporting the Spanish-Americau War 400 

Index tfS 



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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Sir William Howard Russell Froniitjntoe 

TAcma PAm 
How London Punch delineated the Emotion aroused 
by Russell's Crimean Letter 46 

x-Ardnbald Forbes 78 

Januaiius Aloydus MacGalian and Frands D. Millet. . 116 

Frederic Villiers W6 

V Bennet Burlei^ IM 

Ednjond O'Donovan 288 

Henry Ricbard. Edward Henry, and Frank Vizetelly. . 848 

Edward Frederick Knight 288 

George Warrington Steevens S06 

^^nston Spencer Churchill 824 

Barnes Creelman SS8 

^George Wilkins Kendall 852 

Charles Carleton Coffin 886 

xWhitdaw Rod 886 

Gborge Washburn Smalley 400 

^Stephen Crane 418 

•JUdwrd Harding Davis 418 



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"I will go OQ thv^^test errand now to the antipodes 
that you can desire to send me on. " 

—MwA Ado About Nothing. 

" What most extraordinary men are these reporters ... I 
Surely if there be any class of individuals who are entitled 
to the appellation of cosmopolites, it is these; who pursue 
th^ avocation in all comities indifferently and accommodate 
themselves at will to the manners of all classes of sotnet?; 
their fluency of style as writers is only surpassed by th^ 
fadli^ of language in conversation, and th&T attunments 
in classical and polite literature only by their profound 
knowledge of the world. . . I saw them during the three 
iaya at Paris mingled with eanaiUe and gamins behind the 
barriers, while the miiraiUe was flying in all directions, and 
the desperate cuirassiers were Haghing their fierce horses 
agunst the seemingly feeble bulwarks. There stood th^, 
dotting down their observations in thor podcet-books, as 
unconcernedly as if reporting a Reform Meeting in Finsbury 
Square or Covent Garden, whilst in Spain several of them 
accompanied the Carlist and Christino guerillas io some of 
thor most desperate raids and expeditions, exposing them- 
selves to the danger c^ hostile bullets, the inclemency <^ 
winter, and the fierce heat of the summer sun." 

— Geoboe Bobbow, 
The Bible in Spain. 



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Famous War Correspondents 



The Wab Corbbspondent: Hib Rise and the 
Pboblebcatical Future of His Profession 

"... tiie eittkordiuArf devotion and enersy of the preu. of whiob 
the conntrj' may well be proud, have created, under very great difficulty. 
wbat may be called a war literature, unexampled in atuLity and interett, 
putting before the public all the varioua (utoniahing events which have to 
rapidly aucceeded each other in thi< tremendoni ttrug^." 

— Lord OnmvitU, 1870. 

"Those neniy inveoted curaes to armiea — I mean newspaper corre- 



— Sir Oamti WoUeltg. 

"Hie life of the modern war correepondent cannot be deacribed m 

bein^ exactly a bed of rosea, llie ^orious days of the profesakm, when 

WiUiam Russell and Archibald Forbes and their like flourished, have gone, 

nev«r to return." 

~ EMU AATMod-Bartltti 

We are told that the pnrfession of war correspond- 
ence is out of date. War has become as much a 
matt^ of business calculation as any industrial ent^- 
prise, and in the interest of efficiency the newspaper 
man has been eliminated. Daring and dash no longer 
win battles. Close range actions and cavalry charges 
have faded into the picturesque past. The application 
of scientific methods to what was once the splendid 
game of kings has stretched the little battle line 
of Waterloo to the one hundred and fifty miles of 
Mukden, and has relegated the commanding generals 



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*..• SAMCWfS WAR COKRESPONDENTS 

to some point far in the rear of the firing trenches, 
where, with a battery of telephones, a corps of teleg- 
raphers and a roll of charts, they recdve reports and 
send orders, not by galloping aides, but by wire. 

^ The contending armies thus pushed apart and the 
Unes of battle thus extended, the artist and the corre- 
spondent find themselves confronted by insuperable 

- obstacles which render impossible the duplication of 
the feats of men like Archibald Forbes and William 
Howard Russell. Hiey cannot see a battle. Episodes 
and incidents may come under their observation — pro- 
vided they are permitted to get within readi of the 
firing line. These experiences may furnish the mate- 
rials for articles which editors will welcome as "good 
stuff." if the press men are allowed to forward thor 
copy. But the blue praicil relentlessly takes the thrill 
and throb out of their despatches. Wires do not 
sizzle and cables do not oscillate nowadays with the 
stories from the "specials at the front." Correspondents 
are kept in straight-jackets, "cabin'd, cribb'd, con- 

•fin'd," hampered, limited, and circumscribed. And 
therefore, we are assured, the alluring profession of 
the war special no longer invites the newspaper man. 
Yet all these things have been said b^ore. In 
1880 the then Lieutenant, now General, Frauds 
Vinton Greene, U. S. A., the frigid of Januarius Mac- 
Gahan, was writing of the drab colors of the military 
pageant which once had made so brave a show. " How 
very prosaic the modem battle can be with its long- 
range muskets," he said. "How tame as a mere 
spectacle — how Uttle action there is in it. Yet this 
is characteristic of nearly all battles now. Up to the 
last moment of the final advance, which is decisive of 
victory or defeat, but which seldom lasts half an hour, 



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THE WAR CORRESPONDENT S 

. . . the dramatic features of battle have become 
ahort-lived and infrequent." In one of his hooki 
upon the Boer War, Winston Spencer Churchill ex- 
claimed: "Alaal the days of newspiq)er entarprise in 
war are over. What can one do with a censor, a 
forty-eight-hour delay, and a fifty-word limit on the 
wire?" And Alexander Innes Shand, relating the 
situation after the Russo-Japanese War, declared: 
"The war correspondent is notably the victim of the 
cycles. He was, he is, and it seenis likely that he 
mi^ cease to be." 

I do not think that he will cease to be, and for rea- 
sons wiuch will presently appear. His province will 
be more defined and his sphere of action will be more 
drcumscribed. Times change and he must change 
with them. The polides of the newspapers and of the < 
war offices will be detenmned by two fundamental 
considerations: the right of the public — which pays/*' 
the bills, furnishes the soldiers and mourns the dead — f 
to know how well, or ill, a war is planned and fought,! 
and the right of the men entrusted with the command of I 
armies and navies to impose such restraints and compel \ 
such concealments as the strat^y of a campaign may 
require. 
/^ Tlie war correspondent is a newspaper man assigned 
to cover a campaign. He goes into the field with the 
army, expecting to send his reports from that witching 
region known as "the front." He is a special corre- 
spondent commissioned to collect intelligence and trans- 
mit it from the camp and the battle ground. A non- 
combatant, he mingles freely with men whose business 
it is to fight. He may be ten thousand miles from his 
home office, but he finds competition as keen aa ever 
it is in Fleet Street or Newspapra Row. He is engaged 



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4 FAMOUS WAB CORRESPONDENTS 

in the most dramatic department of a profession whose 
infinite variety is equalled only by its fascination. If 
he becomes a professional rather than an occasional 
correspondent, wandering will be his business and ad- 
venture his daily fare. Mr, A. G. Hales is of the 
opinion that the newspaper man who is chosen as a war 
correspondent has won the Victoria Cross of joiunalism. 

For the making of a first-rate war correspondent 
' there are required all the qualifications of a capable 
reports in any other branch' of the profession, and 
others besides. Perhaf» it is true that the regular 
hack work of an ordinary newspi^r man is the best 
training for the scribe of war. The men who had 
reported fires and train wrecks in Ammcan cities 
proved themselves able to describe vigorously and 
clearly the camp^gn in Cuba. William Howard Rus- 
sell had been doing a great variety of descriptive writ- 
ing before he was sent to the Crimea. The prime 
requisites for a satisfactory war correspondent are 
those fundamental to success in any kind of newspaper 
service, the ability to see straight, to write vividly and 
accurately, and to get a story on the wire. 

Occasionally a brilliant workman appears from no- 
where, the happy possessor of an almost uncanny 
intuition of movements and purposes. Such a man 
was Archibald Forbes. But Forbes, no less than the 
average special, had to have the physical capacity to 
march with the private soldier, to ride a hundred miles 
at a clip at top speed over rough coimtry, to sleep in 
the open, to stand the heat of the desert and the cold 
of the mountain height, to endure hunger and thirst 
and all the deprivations of a hard campaign. Every 
correspondent at times must keep going imtil his 
strength is utterly spent. He must have the tenacity 



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THE WAR CORRESPONDENT 

which does not yield to exhaustion until his i 
are written and on the way to his paper. Whoi tlie 
soldier ceases fightinff the correspondent's work is only 
be^un. He needs also to have a d^ree of familiarity 
with the affairs of the present and the history of the 
past which will secure him the respect of the officers 
with whom he may associate. Along with the courage 
of the scout he should possess the suavity and tact oi 
the diplomat, for he will have to get along with men ai 
all types, and occasionally, indeed, his own influence 
may lap over into the field of international diplomacy. 
British correspondents, having covered many wars, 
small and great, since 1870, usually are acquainted 
with several languages, and often have acquired a 
knowledge of the tet^micalities ot military science. 

Students of the history of journalism pronounce the 
influence of the wars in the Low Countries upon the 
development of English periodicals to have been con- 
siderable. A precedent for the work of the war corre- 
q>ondent may be found in the "Swedish Intelligence" 
which contains entertaining reports about the armies 
of Gustavus Adolphus. But the first observers to 
whom it is possiUe to apply the term are Heoiy Crabbe 
Robinson and Charles Lewis Grundsen, and mly the 
latter was an actual spectator of the events he described. 
Usually William Howard Russell is called the inventor 
of war correspondence, and the first professional war 
correspondent he certainly was. But what is said in the 
biography of the famous editor of The Timet, John 
"Diaddeus Delane, that when Russell was sent to the 
Crimea the "idea of having a special correspondent 
with the anny, moving with the troops and describing 
in detail every action and incident of the camp, was 
an entirely new featiue in joumalisnh" is not quite 



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6 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

true, for piecuely that thing was done eight yean 
previously in the war between the United States and 
Mexico. In Ammca the fact has heai almost forgotten 
and in England it never perhaps has been known, but 
it is true that in 1846 and 1847 the new^Mipers of New 
Orleans were manifesting a degree of enterprise in 
Teporting the campaigns of Zachary Taylor and Win- 
fidd Scott which would be entirely worthy of the most 
celebrated dailies of today. 

Even a century ago the Duke of Wellington was 
registering protests against such a mild type of war 
reporting as that done by Crabbe Robinson in the 
Peninsula. In 1800 he decided that " in some instances 
the English newspapers have accurately stated not 
only the r^^ents occupying a position, but the num- 
ber of men fit for duty of which eadi raiment was 
composed; and this intelligence must have reached the 
enemy at the same time as it did me, at a moment at 
which it was most important that he should not receive 
it. " Verily that protest has a most modem sound. Mr. 
Atkins suggests in his biograjdiy of Russell that it may 
have been because of the repeated warnings of the 
English commander that there was no correspondent 
in the lat^ Peninsular campaigns and none at Waterloo. 
That final conflict of the Napoleonic Wars had a little 
more than a column in the Morning Chronuie, and 
three-fourths of that space was devoted to the list of 
the killed and wounded. 

Henry Crabbe Robinson really was more of a fordgn 
special than a war corresp<»ident. Between the months 
of March and August, 1807, he sent letters "from the 
Banks of the Elbe" to The Timet. He took Mp his 
residence at Altona, where arrangements were made 
with a Goinan editor to place at his diqmsal not imly 



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THE WAH CORRESPONDENT 7 

all public documents, but a quantity of information 
which the limits imposed upon the German press i»v- 
vcnted the editor himadf from using, a ffict which sug- 
gests interesting inquiries as to the censorship of a 
century ago. A very comfortable and pleasurable time 
he had at Altona, mingling freely in the social life of the 
town, and sending duly to his paper accounts of the 
hopes and fears and rumors which made the gossip of 
the courts of Europe. Napoleon had won Jena and 
advanced into Poland. It was a time of grave anxiety 
in every capital. The battle of Friedland was fought 
on Jime 14, but the correspondent did not have the 
news untfl June SO. 

The next year Robinson went out again for The 
Times, and from August, 1808, to the first of the follow- 
ing F^niaiy he was dating his letters "from the Shores 
erf the Bay of Biscay." On July 19, immediately after 
the outbreak of the Spanish Revolution, he started from 
London with instructions to collect news and forward 
it by every vessel that left the port of Corunna where 
he landed on the last flay of the month. From a local 
editfff he secured the papers published in the Spanish 
capital, and the time between sailings was devoted to 
the translation of public documents and the writing of 
comments upon them, and to social intercourse with 
the "grand ladies and noblemen" who were numerous 
in the city. It is altogether likely that he did not see a 
shot fired in the whole campaign unless at a great dis- 
tance. The battle of Corunna was fought and the 
death of Sir Jdm Moore occurred on January 16, 1809, 
but he knew nothing of the fighting imtil he went to 
dine and found the great room, usually full of gay life, 
deserted and not a red coat in sight. A waiter said to 
him; "Have you not beard, nr? The French are come; 



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8 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

tbey are fighting." The correspond^it walked a mile 
or more out of town and remamed until dark, when be 
went aboard a ship in the harbor. He heard the can- 
nonading which seemed to "come from the hills about 
three miles from Corunna," and he saw the wounded 
and the French prisoners brou(^t into the city. Yet, 
although the vessel remained for two days, he seems not 
to have secured any details of the battle nor even to 
have beard of the death of the English commander. 

The next war special was Mr. Gruneisen, who, in 
March, 1837, was sent by the Morning Post (whose 
foreign department he had managed) to observe the 
fighting in Spain, He made his start with all the speed 
of a modem, for within two hours he received his first 
notice, took his instructions, obtained his passport, and 
boarded the night mail for Dover. Having reported 
upon conditions at San Sebastian, he accompanied the 
British Legion and for some time was attached to the 
headquart^^ oS Don Carlos. Although be is better 
remembered as a musical critic, Gruneisen proved him- 
self a good journalist. He did not spare himadif in his 
efforts to see the incidents of which he wrote, and be 
was present at several small actions and at the battle of 
Villar de los Navarros. After one victory the soldiers, 
contrary to the orders of Don Carlos, were about to 
massacre a number of prisono^ when the correspond- 
ent, having tried several expedients in vain, at last 
managed to save their lives by revealing himself to the 
commander as a Freemason. He was with the army 
in the advance upon Madrid, and in the retreat which 
followed he endured severe hardships and several times 
was in danger of death. 

In October was fought the battle of Retuerta, after 
which he determined to quit Spain, but instead he fell 



D,g,t7„lb,GOOgIC 



THE WAR CORRESPONDENT 9 

into the hands of the C3mstmo6. For a time he was in 
peril of execution as a Carlist, and once he was actually 
led out to be shot. He trusted to his neutral position 
for deliverance, and made no use in his own behalf of 
the appeal which had saved the Carlist prisoners. 
After a period of imprisonmait at Pamplona and much 
suffering, the influence of Lord Palmerston and of 
Coimt Mole, then the fWicb Premier, effected his 
release. Gruneisen returned to England in January, 
18S8. Later be served as the Paris correspondent of 
the Morning Pott, and organized a carrier pigeon service 
between the French city and London, which was re- 
garded as a remarkable stroke of raergy. In this con- 
nection it should be noted that in the Carlist struggle 
The Times received letters from the noted C. F. Hen- 
ningsen, who fouf^t in Spain as a soldier of fortime, 
and was also made prisoner by the Christines. He 
was liberated at the same time as Gruneisen and upon 
the same condition, that he stay out of Spain dtuing 
the continuance of the war. 
I But the custom of sending special correspondents 
I to report campaigns dates in America only h'om the 
time of the Mexican War and in Europe from the cam- 
l^wign in the Crimea. When General Scott entered 
tiie City of Mexico in 1847 there were only a few hun- 
dred miles of telegraph in the United States, and in the 
whole Crimean War Russell sent but one telegram, a 
few words announcing the fall of Sebastopol. Not until 
November, 1851, was direct td^prapbic communication 
established between London and Paris, and at about that 
time Algernon Borthwick, later known as Lord Glenesk 
and then the Paris representative of the Morning Post, 
wrote his father that the use of the wire "cleaned out 
his pockets sadly." He went on to ask for £20, as there 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



10 FAMOUS WAB COEBESPONDENTS 

was "a prospect of warm work" and he would "have 
to keep the electric fluid constantly flowing." Truly 
that was the day of small things. 

£:q)en8e accounts have mounted very fast since 
then. The cable tolls of The Timet for despatches 
from Egypt in 1882 and 188S when C. F. Moberly Bell 
was its correspondent footed up more than £18,000 for 
fourteen months. The cost of cabling Mr. Bell's ac- 
count of the bombardment of Alexandria wa^ £800. 
For ten columns of news from Uganda a few yeara later 
the paper paid £2200. Among the large sums paid by 
American papers probably the earliest for the cabling 
of important news were the 97000 in gold by the Nftv 
York HeraJd for the transmission of the whole of the 
speech of the King of Prussia after the battle of Sadowa 
in 1866, and the 95000 paid in 1870 by the New York 
Tribune for its acooimt of the battle td Gravelotte. 
These amounts have many times been exceeded in the 
last score of years. At the time of Russell's departure 
for the East newspfq>er circulations also were small as 
compared with today's figures. The Times, in 1852, 
had a circulation of about 40,000. After about twenty 
years Shirley Brooks was saying to Sir John Bobinson: 
"You and Bismarck are the only persons who have 
gained in this war," referring to the enormous increases 
in the circulation of the DaUy News which were the 
reward of its exertions in the Franco-Prussian War. 
In one week the paper is supposed to have jumped from 
a circulation of 50,000 to three times that number of 
copies. 

The "war octra" is one of the most common tokens 
of presentrday newspaper enterprise, but one has only 
to go a little way into the past to see how great is the 
contrast between the conditions in Fleet Street and 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE WAR COBRESFONDENT 11 

Newspaper Bow a haH-century ago and today. To 
find the very first battle extra, however, the search 
must be extended back to 1759, when there was pub- 
lished "by authority" an issue of the London Gazette 
"Extraordinary" at the Whitehall Palace, telling of the 
capture of Quebec by General Wolfe. But consider 
how the news of the battle of the Alma was given to the 
city of London. The battle was fought on Wednesday, 
September 20, 1854. On the afternoon of Saturday, 
September SO, the publisher of the Gazette was in bis 
office in St. Martin's Lane when he received a message 
summcming him to the Secretary of War in Downing 
Street. He hurried to the War Office and found the 
Secretary greatly exdted over the "glorious news" and 
mudi concerned as to bow the people were to get the 
news on that Saturday evening as there were no papers. 
The publisher suggested that a special Gazette be printed 
and copies sent to the theatres to be read from the 
stage. It was done and a sudden stop came to most of 
the performances. 

The story of the battle had been carried to Constan- 
tinople and the British Ambassador there had written 
a telegram which had been sent away by messoiger on 
Saturday, the twenty-third. The nearest place where 
there was a wire available was Belgrade, and the cornier 
had ridden over the Balkans and through Servia taking a 
week for the joum^. The special Gazette's report con- 
tained but a few lines and there were inaccuracies in 
these. On the Sunday there was a supplement issued 
with a brief telegram from Lord Raglan and then there 
was a wait of many days before the long lists of three 
thousand killed and wounded were received and printed. 
^The year 1870, when France and Germany were 
fightipg the war out oi which issued United Germany 



DigitzrrlbyGOOgIC 



12 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

and the Third French Republic, was the transition 
period in the history of war correspondence. Up to 
that time the specials von thdr reputatitms by the 
graphic qualities of their descriptive articles. As 
Forbes says: "They had no tel^raph wire to be at 
once their boon and their curse; for them, in the trans- 
mission of their work, there was seldom any other expedi- 
ent than the ordinary post from the camp or \ibe base; 
or, at liie best, a special express messenger.*/^ In the 
American Civil War the telegraph was used to a vast 
extent. Yet at the outbreak of the campaign of 1870, 
European journals had no notion of substituting the 
instantaneous wire for liie 1a^;ard mail. They thouf^t 
of the economies of the slower vehicle and relied upon 
Reuter's Agency for tJieir foreign news. Before the 
war was more ikaji b^un astounding feats were bdng 
adueved and the whole art of war reporting was b^g 
revolutionized. The revolution would not have been 
possible had tJiere not been able imd ingenious men in 
the field, and of these the most remarkable was Archi- 
bald Forbes. Yet it is a fact which is not generally 
understood that the celebrated spedal of the Daily 
Newt did not precipitate the f:hange. The idea of 
substituting the wire for the mail seems to have be«i 
carried to England by George W. Smalley of the New 
York Tr^mne. But he was unwilling to trust the wire 
under some drcumstances, and, as American corre- 
spondents had carried tidings from the battle fidds of 
Vii^mia to Washington and New Yoik City, so be 
directed his men to come with their copy from France 
to London. The story is related at length in SmaUey's 
"Memories" with which should be compared the ac- 
count in "Fifty Years in Fleet Street," by Sir John 
Robinson of the DaSy Newt. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE WAR CORRESPONDENT 13 

Mr. Smalley, who had made himself famous aa a 
special in the American war, hurried to Europe in 1866 
when the news came of the opening of hostilities be- 
tween Prussia and Austria. By the time he reached 
Queenstown the war was over. He went on to Berhn, 
however, where he did what then was r^arded as a 
startling thing. There was a break in the n^otiations 
for peace and the homeward march of the victors (rf 
Sadowa was halted. The American special sent a cable 
despatch of about one hundred words to the Tribtoie 
and paid 9500 in tolls, which was an unheard-of extrav- 
agance. 

Upon his next trip across the ocean, Mr. Small^ 
went "as the exponent of a new theory of American 
journalism in Europe> a theory based on the belief 
that liie cable had altered all the conditions of inter- 
national newsgathering and that a new system had to 
be created." The outcome of the new system was a 
series of scores for the Tribune in the early months of 
the great war which all the world was watching with 
eager interest, and these scores were commonly spoken 
of in London as due to the application of "American 
methods" to tiie European situation. At the beginning 
Mr. Smalley made an alliance with the Daily Nevjs; the 
messages from the TrQmne'a correspondents were to be 
given also to the Dailif News and vice versa. London, 
a little later, was confused by the arrangement, and the 
confusion became the greater because one of the specials 
for the New York paper had also an arrangement with 
the PaU Mail QaseUe. Smalley's plan was to select a 
few of the most desirable men and to send them out 
with directions which he himself has described. 

"The instnictiona were voy simple, but I believe at 
that time were novd in England," he says. " Each was to 



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14 FAMOUS WAB CORRESPONDENTS 

find hia my to the fnmt, or iritererer a battle was moat 
likely to be fought. He was to tdegr^di to London as 
fully aa poaoble aU aocoimta of prelimmaiy engagements. 
It- he had the good ludc to witness an important battle he 
waa not to telegraph, but unleas for some very peremptory 
reason he was to start at once for LondoUt writing accounts 
by the way or after lua arrival. If he could telegraph a 
summary first ao much the better. But there must be no 
dday. The easential thing was to arrive in London at the 
eariieat moment. He was to provide beforehand for a sub- 
stitute or more than one who would take up Us work while 
he was absent. Only when in London was a ctureqxindent 
master of the atuation. There was never mudi diance of 
sending a full stoty from the battle field, or from some near 
town, nor from any capital, not even a noitral ci4ntal." ) 

By faithful adherence to these instructions, what 
newspaper men exult over aa "splendid scoops" were 
achieved by a Mr. Hands, Holt White, M. Mejanel and 
Grustave MUller. The story of the first exploit was 
thus told by Archibald Forbes: 

"At Saarbrilck, on the Frendt frontier, . . . there 
waa an immediate oonoentration of momentary intoest 
acarc^ surpassed later anywh«e else; yet to no one of the 
oorreqiondents gathered there, idietheT veteran or recruit, 
had oome the inspiration of telegrapUng letteis in fulL . . . 
The world's history has no record of more desperate fitting 
than that which raged the livelong summer di^ on the plat- 
form of Mars-la-Tour. The accounts of that bloody combat 
went to England per field-post and mail-train; yet the 
SaarbrUck telegr^>h office, from which the embargo had been 
removed, was witlun a nz-hour's ride of the field. 

"The battle of Gravelotte did get itsdf described, after 
a fashion, over the wires; but it was no Englishman who 
accomplished the pioneer achievement The credit thereof 
accrues to an ei&t American journalist named Hands, urtio 
was one of the representatives of the New York Tntmns. 
Whether, when the long strife was dying away in the daA- 
ness, the qiirit auddmly moved tlJa quiet little man, or 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE WAB CORRESPONDENT W 

irftetlter he had prearranged the undertakuig, I do not know; 
nor do I know idwther he carried or whether he sent his 
message to the Saarbrtlck telegraph cffice. But this is cer- 
tain, that it got there in time to be printed in New Yoric tm 
the day but one after the battle. ... It was, indeed, no 
great achievement intrinfflcally, looked back on now in the 
light of later developments; yet Hand's half-column telQ(ram 
has the right to stand monumentally as the first attempt in 
the Old World to describe a battle over the td^raph wires." 

The detailed story of Gravelotte waa the work (A 
Moncure D. Conway, who made a thrilling trip to 
London, riding for hours stretched flat on the top of a 
freight car. He bad served for some time as pastor of a 
Unitariaii Church in Washington, when he decided to 
go to England and try to correct the mistaken Impres- 
sions there prevailing as to the justice of the Federal 
cause in the controversy with the Southern States. At 
the beginning of the war between France and Germany 
the New York World cabled for his services as a corre- 
spondent. With a well-known American newspapw 
man, Murat Halstead, he watched the battle of Grave- 
lotte and noted also the demeanor of King William, 
Moltke, Bismarck, and General "Phil" Sheridan, who 
was observing the campaign as the guest of the Go- 
mans. Tbe morning after the battle Conway and 
Halstead went ova* the field. Having slid down a 
steep bank to drink from a spring, the clergyman- 
correspondent foimd it difficult to crawl haxik. again. 
Hie handle of a cane was reached down to him and he 
scrambled up to find that his assistant was no other 
than Archibald Forbes. The three reporters walked 
together to Grav^otte, where they had a long talk 
about the battle with Sheridan. 

Now Conway was off for London. He started eifoot 
lor a French town twelve mflea away» getting a lift over 



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16 FAMOUS WAE CORRESPONDENTS 

a portion of the distance in the cart of a peasant. As 
be neared the town he found the road clojg^ with 
ambulances, and past midnight he came to a large 
square in which the surgeons had established an open- 
air hospital. At Remilly idso he found ghastly crowds, 
and as he fared on to SaarbrUck the difficulties of travel 
increased. Here was the railway, but the only train 
was padced with hurt men, and hia offer to serve as a 
nurse for his transportation was refused. As the cars 
moved out of the station, Conway climbed to the top of 
one of them. An official shouted a warning: "The 
bridges are low; your head will be knocked off." But 
he found that the front edge of the car roof had been 
flattened, and there was little trouble lying on his back 
to escape the bridges so long as the daylight lasted. He 
^>ent ten hours on the car roof, and six of the ten were 
hours of thick darkness and chilling mist. For most of 
that period he was stretched flat, every nerve tense and 
every faculty alert, gripping the edge of the roof with 
his hands. On the beautiful Sunday morning which 
followed, Conway took the mihtary train for Treves. 
Progress was slow, for wounded and dying soldiers 
were distributed at stations along the line. At every 
stop, before the train paused, women would begin to 
shriek for tidings of their friends. Years after, Conway 
wrote: "At times I was sick and faint. The earth 
yawned into one vast grave, the blue sky was a pall, the 
sun had turned to blood!" From Treves to Luxem- 
bourg the journey was made by voiture, for the railway 
bridges were burned. He hurried on to Brusseb, caiight 
the night boat at Ostend, and on K^mday mmning he 
was in London. 

Not a paper contained any news of the great battle. 
Conway's first duty was to cable a despatch to the New 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE WAR CORRESPONDENT 17 

York World. He then went to the o£5ces of the DaUy 
News where Robinson captured him as the most valu- 
able man in the world at that particular moment. The 
Ammcan was not permitted to leave the office until he 
had written the long description of Gravelotte which 
was telegraphed all over Europe and translated into all 
the languages of the Continent, making a tremendous 
sensation. For the New York Tribune Smallev also 
acquired it. In spite of the alliance with the London 
daily there were circumstances which prevented Robin- 
son's handing the article over to Smalley, whereupon 
the latter purchased it at a good round figure from the 
writer. Although not of much miUtary value, the 
picturesque story remains to this day one of the daring 
feats of journalism. But Moncure Conway ended his 
career as a war correspondent then and there, and for 
weeks his dreams were haunted by the scenes he had 
witnessed. 

lliursday, September 1, 1870, was the date of the 
battle of Sedan. On the afternoon of the Saturday fol- 
lowing, one of the gmaUey speciab walked into his 
offices in Pall Mall with the story of the fighting, as 
seen from the G«rman side. On Monday afternoon in 
came the correspondent who had followed the battle 
with the French. The first to arrive was Holt White, 
an Englishman; the second was M. Mejanel, whose 
father was French and mother English. When the 
forma- arrived, London had known for about six 
hours barely the fact that there had been a catas- 
trophe at Sedan. Robinson of the DaUy News and 
Smalley of the Trdntne had been in conference over the 
situation, and at noon the latter had received a wire 
from White saying he was due in London that aft^^ 
noon. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



18 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

Both Archibald Forbea and Smalley have put on 
record their admiration of Holt White as a "man who 
at one supreme moment aca>mplished one of the most 
brilliant ^>loits" of journalism. He was in the 
saddle from four in the morning imtil the end of the 
battle. He was standing neu "Phil" Sheridan when 
the letter of surrender was handed by the French 
Greneral Reill^ to the Prussian King, and the napkin 
that had served the messenger as a flag of truce was 
given the correspondent as a souvenir. "And then," 
to quote the language of Forbes, "with dauntless 
courage he walked right across the battle field, through 
the still glowing embers of the battle." He was 
starting to London. He bad to pass the lines d three 
armies, the Prussians who refused him a permit, the 
French outposts at the north of Sedan, and the Bel- 
gians who were making a pretence at least of guarding 
their frontier and preserving the neutrality of their 
teiTitory. For miles White was riding with his life 
in his hand. He himself was never able to explain 
how he got through. Reaching the nearest railway 
station he took a train for Brussels where he arrived 
early on the morning of Friday. But the issue of the 
battle was unknown there. No despatch would be 
accepted from him. The operators scouted his story. 
Be was crazy or he was trying to influence the prices of 
stocks. And anything for London or elsewhere would 
have to be submitted to the censor, and everywhere 
the censorship is a heartbreaking thing to the reporter. 
White went on by train to Calais, missed one boat, 
took the next, missed the connecting train from Dover 
to London, chartered a special.and was in the English 
capital on Saturday afternoon. What followed must 
be told in Smalley's own terms. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE WAB CORRESPONDENT 19 

"Seldom have I been ao glad to see a man's face as to 
see his, but there was hardly so much as a greeting between 
US. 'Is your despatch ready?' "Not a word written.* 
*Will you sit down at once and begin?' *I cannot. I'm dead 
tired. I've had no food since daybreak. I must eat and 
sleep.' He looked it, a mere wreck of a correspondent, 
haggard, dirty, ragged, incapable of the effort which never- 
theless had to be made. That was no time to consider 
anybody's feelings. A continent was waiting for the news 
lacked up in that man's brain, and somehow or other the 
lock must be forced, the news told. Incidentally it was 
such an <q>portunity for the Tribune as seldom has come 
to any pwper, *You shall have something to eat, but 
sleep you shall not till you have done your dispatch. That 
must be in New York tomorrow morning.' We went over 
to a Pall Mall restaurant, and back in the Tribune office 
just after six commenced work." 

Down they sat opposite each other. Said White: 
"I am to condense as much as possible, I suppose?" 
Smalley replied: "No. You will please write fully." 
"But — it is going by cable." "Yes." "And it 
will be several columns long." "The longer the 
better." "I still don't quite understand." "Then 
please put the cable out of your nund. Write exactly 
as if you were writing for a London paper and the 
printer's devil waiting." Thus Smalley relates the 
ctmversation, as indicating how strange was the idea 
of wiring, much less cabling, even the story of one of 
the most momentous battles of the century. 

Holt White wrote a terribly bad hand. Smalley 
copied the article sheet by sheet, and carried these 
legible pages to the cable office, taking no chances. 
Neither knew for a certainty that no other person 
bad come through. White had recognized no rival 
on the way and he was sure none had traveled on his 
q>ecial, but it was two days since Sedan had been 



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80 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

fought, and the one thing they could be sure of was 
that their single duty must be to get the story on the 
cable. White wrote on with grim detCTmination. 
Would he take a brief rest before finishing? No; if 
he stopped he would fall asleep, and if he once slept 
he would not wake. After two on Sunday morning 
the last lines were scrawled with fingers almost be- 
numbed. 

Monday morning the English papers were nearly 
a blank as to news from Sedan. Holt White's narrative 
did not appear in the Daily News because he had an 
arrangement with the PaU Mall Gazette, an afternoon 
paper, for which he prepared a shorter account of the 
battle. On Sunday morning across the ocean the Tri- 
bune printed "a clear, coherent, vivid battle story," 
and it was the only report to appear either in New 
York or in London. The London morning papers 
first had full accounts of the battle on Tuesday. The 
situation caused a vast amount of comment and 
mystification. 

While Smalley was still almost shouting for joy, 
on Monday afternoon in walked Mejanel. "An 
angel from heaven would have been less welcome," 
says Smalley. The correspondent had seen the battle 
from the French side. He had taken his chances 
of being shot in order to get away with the news. He 
was a prisoner, when once the French surrendered, 
and he was never able to remember if he was released 
or if he escaped. If the latter he might have been 
shot by German sentries or arrested and brought 
before a court martial. He had been sordy tried 
getting on to London, and had had no chance to write. 
He was staggering with fatigue but his nerves were 
steady. At once he sat down at that small table to 



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THE WAR CORRESPONDENT 21 

viite. His memory was accurate. He wrote a good 
English style. His was a picture of the horrors 
within the French lines and the town of Sedan. 
Smalley again copied sheet by sheet the despatch, and 
at midnight, with four colunms completed, Mejanel 
ended his toil. On Tuesday morning that despatch 
was printed in New York, making ten colmnns in all 
of exclusive matter on Sedan. 

The final e^^loit of the series which started the 
making over of the whole method of war reporting was 
that of Gustav Miiller, whose story of the surrender of 
Metz was published simultaneously in the DaUy 
Netos and the New York Tribune on October SO, 1870, 
which was the second day after the capitulation. It 
was a remarkable account, including a visit to tite 
surrendered city, which "startled all England," to 
use the language of Archibald Forbes. In London 
The Times the next morning quoted the narrative in 
full with a prefatory statement "congratulating our 
contemporary on the ^lergy and enterprise of its 
correspondent." That correspondent was long sup- 
posed to be Forbes, but the actual writer was a German- 
American whom Smalley had engaged for the Tribune. 
He saw the dejected troops of Bazaine march out of 
Metz; he entered the city with the Germans and saw 
the confusion which held sway there for a time; and 
then he rode north along the Moselle valley to the 
frontier of Luxembourg, in peril all the way, and 
managed to get through to London. Forbes, who 
repudiated the credit wrongly assigned him, supposed 
the story went to London by wire from a Luxembourg 
hamlet, but Smalley states explicitly that Miiller did 
just what White and Mejanel had done before him. 
And Forbes, having penetrated into Metz and spent 



DigitzrrlbyGOOgIC 



22 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the night writing a letter, which he sent off by post, was 
"turned physically sick" by the arrival ct a copy o{ 
the Daily News with Mflller's story. 

Thus it was that Europe and the world learned 
that in modem war correspondence, as in every depart- 
ment of newspaper work, the race is to the swift and 
the battle to the strong. Smalley states the case thus: 
"Putting the question of cost aside, it does not matt^ 
how a piece of news is transmitted, whether by rail, 
steamship or wire. What matters is that it shall get 
there. Today this is a truism; in 1870 it was a para- 
dox." Forbes was quick to seize upon the new idea. 
From Robinson came instructions to send complete 
stories by telegr^h. From that time on Forbes was 
very seldom beaten. He became "the swift, alert 
man of action," to use his own phrase, "an organizer 
of means for expediting news." 

The improvements in the systems of collecting and 
transmitting news not only changed the old order but 
induced fdso a vastly greater demand for information 
of every kind. The war correspondent was almost a 
necessary consequence of the expectations to which 
the advances of science gave rise. But as the corre- 
spondents multiplied in numbers, and the competition 
became ever more keen, army commanders b^an to 
encompass them with restrictions. Regulations were 
fruned to meet the dangers of a freedom which might 
easily d^enerate into an irresponsible license. The 
censOTship was mild in the war of 1870. Scores of 
correspondents roamed and scribbled almost without 
restraint in Bulgaria in 1877. News men were tol- 
erated, if not welcomed, by officers in the field. But 
the press men have been hampered more and more 
in each successive campaign, until from the Russo- 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE WAR CORRESPONDENT 23 

Japanese War many coneapondents returned borne in 
disgust, and in the late war in the Balkans the men 
who followed the Bulbars found the regulations, says 
Mr. Philip Gibbs, "appalling in their severity." 

llie duties of the censors are opposed in most 
particulars to the duties of the correspondents, so that, 
unless, upon the one hand, great discretion is shown, 
and, upon the other, great tact, the relations between 
the two parties become strained. At an enormous 
expense the papers equip their specials and maintain 
them in the field. Hiese bills the newspapers would 
not pay, except that no war of any magnitude can be 
fought these days and the whole world not be concerned 
about it. Meagre official reports viH not satisfy the 
demand for information. The public want, and ou^t 
to have, the details^ and from a presumably impartial 
source. The newspapers that would survive must 
supply the demand, and the rewards of their endeavors 
come partly in increased circulation and largely in 
prestige. 

Directly upon the b^inning of hostilities the censors 
b^in work. Whatever the conditions, theirs is no 
small task. With gratitude the special correspondents 
in Cuba in 1898 bore testimony to their cordial rela- 
tions with several of the censors there. On the other 
hand, there are not wanting able observers who assert 
that the military press c^isorship in the Philippines 
was "maintained for the sole purpose of protecting the 
administration and army trora popular criticism, 'or 
for political purposes only." The news moi were 
not permitted to use the word "ambushed" in a 
despatch, we are told, because it would imply negligence 
on the part of the military authorities. 

In the Boer War, before the arrival of Lord Roberts 



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U FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

in South Africa, the commanding general in each of the 
four zones of action had the option of accepting or 
rejecting correspondents, and staff oflScers, with little 
notion of the duties of the position, were appointed 
censors. There was much confusion in consequence. 
Julian Ralph, an American, wrote that one censor 
amused himself by taking the despatches of a yoimg 
man, who was doing his best to enter upon an honor- 
able career as a correspondent, and throwing them into 
the wastebasket for ten days without telling the special 
of their fate. "It pleased him to insult me,** he con- 
tinues, "by telling me that the only message I could 
send to England must be the description of a sand- 
storm." Nor was any attention shown to the order 
in which corresfondents brou^t in their despatches. 
The first to submit his copy might have supposed that 
his energy was to have its natural reward. But often 
enough the last to file a message would be the first to 
get the signature, his manuscript being at the top of 
the stack. Wiih the coming of Lord Roberts the 
tmhappy lot of the specials was abated. Freedom of 
movement was granted a large niunber of men. Their 
long letters were sent forward uncensored, being 
stamped and sealed at the censor's office to insure 
their final delivery without examination. The press 
cables, however, were limited to events which had 
already occurred and were subjected to censorship. 
But it was an intelligent censorship. The office was 
entrusted to Lord Stanley, who proved himself a 
considerate and courteous supervisor, and his relations 
with the news men were always agreeable. There 
is a political side to the story in this war also, in the 
judgment of some well-informed men, who declare that 
there was no military necessity for the press censorship. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE WAR CORRESPONDENT 25 

For many montha after the banning of the war 
between Russia and Japan a small army of correspond- 
ents were left stranded high and dry in Tokio. The 
government made sure that they cabled nothing and 
saw nothing. A special for The Times telegraphed 
that General Fukushima of the General Stafi informed 
the foreign press men that a force had begun to land 
on the liautung Peninsula. They wished to know 
where and in what numbers the landing had been 
effected. The General merely smiled. They asked 
again: "In the East, West, North or South?" The 
reply was: "Out of the skies from heaven." Undoubt- 
edly the Japanese were surprised and embaraased by the 
great number of press men who flockf^ to the war. 
But Rennet Burleigh, in an eloquent defense of his 
profession, said that the Japanese, as "keen observers 
of the signs of the times." realized that they had made 
a mistake in their treatment of the correspondents, as 
was indicated by a belated change of policy. In the 
Balkan War the severity of the press restrictions 
varied according to the army to which a <x>rrespondent 
was accredited. The Turkish censorship was inca- 
pable, facilities for forwarding despatches were promised 
and the promises were not kept, and every effort was 
made to lead the specials away from the news. The 
Bulgarian authorities forbade the reporters to give the 
names of generals or the disposition of troops, the names 
or mimbcrs of the killed and wounded, the success or 
fuliure of the army, the condition of the soldiers' health, 
or even the state of the weather. 

Tlie object of the embargo upon publicity is declared'^ 
to be to prevent military information from becoming i 
known to the enemy. The justification of the censor- \ 
ship is commonly illustrated by the citation of cases. 



n,g,t7„ib,.G00gIc 



«6 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

some of which, at least, will not bear examinatioii. It 
long was asserted that Russell's Crimean letters helped 
the Russians. Years after that war Russell wrote 
Gortchakoff and asked his opinion, receiving in reply 
a statement that the papers had been regularly sent 
him from Warsaw by a cousin, but that he had never 
learned anything from them which he had not known 
beforehand. And often the tale has been related that 
at the critical time in the opening of the Franco- 
Prussian War, Marshal von Moltke was most anxious 
to know the exact whereabouts of the army of Marshal 
MacMahon, that he was in doubt for several days, that 
at last a paragraph, with a Paris date L'ne, in a London 
newspaper, told him that the French were concentrat- 
ing near Sedan, and that the German commander at 
once modified his plans and initiated the strat^^ whii:h 
ended in the capitulation of the French axmy and the 
surrender of Louis Napoleon. That story seems incred- 
ible on its face. It surely does no credit to the oi^aniz- 
ing genius of the famous German soldier. 

That the press has at times committed excesses in 
the name of freedom no one will deny. But the way 
to keep that freedom within the limits of propriety is 
not by the use of a muzzle. The whole question may 
largely be solved by seeing to it that censors shall be 
trained for their task, just, competent and fair, and that 
correspondents shall be of the highest level of newspaper 
men, high-minded. honest and trustworthy. Lord 
Roberts won the respect of the newspiq>er men in 
South Africa by trusting them. In the Indian Mutiny 
Lord Clyde had no trouble in securing the silence of 
Russell. He merely trusted him; Russell's honor did 
the rest. Few indeed are the press men, with the 
ability to go into the fiedd as war specials, who will 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE WAB CORRESPONDENT «7 

betray a trust that has been faiiiy committed to them. 
As Bennet Burleigh put it: "What a creature that 
correspondent would be who would betray the host 
with whom he remains as an honored guest 1" But 
he added, most justly: "And what a contemptible 
enemy that must be who trusts to the newspapers as 
their intelligence department, and not to their own and 
well-organized and costly system of spies, scouts and 
special service men!" 

As a matter of fact, no press censorship prevents 
miUtary plfins and secrets from becoming known to the 
enemy. Spies and sea%t agents march with every 
army and have their ears at the keyhole of every 
cabinet and council of war. G^rrespondents work 
in the open; they can be suppressed; but the under- 
ground routes have never yet been barricaded. Upon 
the other hand, it would be easy to list a series of 
valuable services which the war correspondents have 
rendered the world. Their despatches have been read 
in Congresses and Parliaments. Russell saved the 
ronnant of the British army in the Crimea. Charles 
Nasmyth saved the Crimean Allies a campaign on the 
Danube; Lionel James told the truth about the battle 
ci Liao-yang and hastened the coming of peace. 
MacGahan in Bulgaria, Creehnan in Corea, various 
correspondents in Cuba, supplied the world with 
tiding of massacres and oppressions about which 
mankind had a right to know. To be sure, there have 
been exaggerations, "fakes," and misrepresentations 
in many times and places. There have been instances, 
not a few, of commanders and armies encouraging 
deliberately the telling of untruths for the booming 
of personal reputations and the manufacture of furi- 
ous victories and maneuvres. There are charges that 



DigitzrrlbyGOOgIC 



28 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the Bulgars in the late war thus put a premium upon 
the correspondence of unscrupulous and pliant men 
and discouraged the energies of the specials who 
sedulously sought to ascertain and to tell the truth. 
The limitations must be imposed upon all in order 
that the excesses of the few may be stopped. But 
these misrepresentations are far from being a modem 
invention. The eminent American journalist, E. L. 
Godkin, scathingly denounced the falsehoods sent out 
from the Crimea, where he served as a war special. 
German and Austrian papers were describing battles 
which never were fought and naming commanders 
who did not exist. In this respect the war correspond- 
ent has many times been made to suffer for the sins of 
audacious adventurers who have represented themselves 
as specials in order to get to the front. 

As long ago as 1881 the case was well stated by 
Lieutenant Greene, before quoted, who wrote: 

"newspaper correspondents will hereafter form a most 
important element in every war, every great diplomatic 
conference, every other great event of every character; and 
the w^ to treat them is not foolishly to banish well-tnuned 
professional men, as the English tried to do in Afghanistan, ' 
and take in place of their reports the crude, biased and 
incorrect statments of ^ros in the form of subaltern officers, 
but to treat the real correspondents with dignity, increase 
their sense of responsibility, and give them every facility 
for acquiring correct information of facts that have already 
transpired and are concluded; in short, to malrc the portion 
one that will be sought by men of brsins, energy, and a high 
sense of honor, and thus to see that the world, which will 
have news of some sort, shall have truthful news," 

These words, which sound as if they were written 
yesterday, rather than more than thirty years ago, 
strike the right note. News of some sort the world 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE WAB CORRESPONDENT 20 ■ 

will have, indeed. And it is not good for militarism 
to f^l'^tsdf'^Mifipt from criticism. Russell said that 
"iActependent civilian opinion is good for army men, 
and that "the close atmosphere of any society d 
experts is likely to be the better for a little outside] 
aJr." Civilization must have an unprejudiced wit- 
ness at the front in war. Technical records have no 
place in the newspapo?. Graphic pictures of the life 
of the camp and incidents of the battle are the stuff 
that patriotism thrives on. The people like to read 
about the way the soldier lives, his shaving and his 
eating, his whisthng and his singing, how he behaves 
under fire, little pathetic or humorous scenes as well 
as big thrilling episodes. The reporting of splendid 
disasters never hurts the solenm pride of a people and 
never lessens the number of enlistments. The story 
that Forbes wrote of Gravelotte, how as evening fell 
the result hung in the balance and how the King burst 
into tears when Von Moltke clattered up and an- 
noimced the victory; MacGahan's picture of Skobeleff 
at Plevna, Richard Harding Davis's tale of the httle 
boy on the battle field in Greece, Kravchenko's des- 
patch with the thrilling account of the destructioD of 
the Russian battleship at Fort Arthur, these, together 
with the simple statements of numbers, commanders, 
marches, and all the events of campaigns, are what 
the^people expect the papers to print in war time. 

/The statesman and the soldier must reckon with 
the lact that the people conceive themselves to have 
the ri^t to know about the administration of their 
government, the spending of their money and the 
fitting of their wars.) The printing press is but 
another name for pubncity and publicity more and 
more is taking its place as one of the very chief imple- 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



80 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

ments of progress and civilization. This fundar 
mental principle was stated on a time by Frederic 
Villiers, the famous war artist and correspondent, 
in these vigorous words: 

"Whatever the temptation, whatever the influence or 
pressure, whatever the government itself, whatever the 
consequences or personal sacrifice, never suppress the news. 

"Always tell tlie truth, alw^s take the humane and 
moral mde, always remember that right feeling is the vital 
sparlc of strong writing, and that publicity, publicity, 
publici^ is the greatest moral factor and force in our public 
Bfe." 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



CHAPTER n 
SIR WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL 

" H II Willi touB li^" A metoor in the CrimcAii Wmr." 

—F. Mat MmUr. 

On an evening in February, 1854, WiUtam Howard 
Bussell, general reporter and descriptive writer, Irish 
wit, story-teller and all-round good fellow, was sitting 
**on call" at his desk in the office of The Timet in 
Printing House Square in the dty of London when a 
messenger brought him a summons to the room ci 
John Thaddeus DeUne* the editor of the famous 
newspaper. Of the conversation which took place 
in that int^view there is no record, but the amazing 
consequences which ensued make a great chapter in 
the history of journalism, a chapter the more interest- 
ing because neither the editor nor the r^>orter had any 
notion of what these results were to be. England and 
Russia were in dispute. The government had decided 
to prove to the Czar its serious intention of supporting 
Turkey against aggressions. Troops were going to 
the Ik^editerranean. Russell should take passage with 
the Guards to Malta. Everything would be "very 
agreeable." He would have handsome pay and allow- 
ances, his wife and family could join him and it would 
be a delightful little excursion. Never mind about 
his law practice; there was not much of it anyhow and 
what there was could wait. He would surely be back 
before Easter anyway. What occasion was there for 
worry? 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



M FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

Russell duly proceeded to Malta, but he went on 
alao to Constantmople, and thence to the Crimea. 
Ere he returned three Easters had passed, and when 
finally he came home to make the acquaintance of his 
children, he found himself famous and his paper more 
powerful than at any previous time in its history. 

Of just one thing could Delane be positive, when 
he despatched Russell as a special with the British 
troops: he was sure he had made no mistake in his 
choice of a man. This r^mrter was already "Billy" 
Russell, and, in order, he was to become "Crimean" 
Russell, "Dr." Russell, "Bull Run" Russell and Sir 
William Russell, the friend of Thackeray and Bis- 
marck, of Sir Colin Campbell and John Bigelow, a 
chosen companion of the Prince of Wales, and the 
most versatile representative of The Times, to whom 
was assigned a bewildering variety of commissions 
and especially those which required peculiar powers of 
observation and description. 

He was just of age and covering his veiy first assign- 
ment for the paper when he showed the qualifications 
of a first-rate reporter. His cousin, Robert Russell, 
came to Ireland to "do" the elections for The Times, 
A staff of yoxmg fellows was needed to write simple and 
accurate accoimts of what they might see, and he came 
to "Billy" with the proposition. He would ^ have 
letters to the best people, a guinea a day imd his 
hotel expenses. Would he start next week? The 
young man needed the mon^ and started. At once 
he manifested that kna<dc for finding the news which 
some call commcm sense and others rate as genius, 
that scent which smells out place and time as an animal 
follows a trail. 

Delayed in reaching his first meeting, he missed 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Sm WnXIAM HOWAKD RUSSELL 38 

■ome riotous proceedings. Where was he to get an 
nnpartial account of both sides? Where indeed? 
He recalled that this was an electi<m, and what was 
most significant, that it was an Irish election, and he 
went straight to the hospital, where he found repre- 
sentatives of both parties and got the two versions of the 
day's occurrences. Five days after its writing his 
first despatch to Ths Timet was printed, and soon a 
letter from Robert Russell arrived praising his "capital 
work. " What was more, the paper printed a " leader" 
based upon the yoxmg reportw's "burning words." 
Russell was bom ia the county of Dublin on 
March 28. 1830. He had been a student at Trinity 
Collie when his cousin's offer reached him. The 
elections over he went to London and wrote stories and 
articles for the magazines and made himself expert in 
shorthand. Then The Timea gave him a place in the 
Reporters' Gallery of the House of Commons. His 
first experience with an army in the field was in the 
little Danish war of 18£0. But "the father of war 
correspondence" looked upon this as only another 
assignment and the despatch describing the action 
at Idatedtt in which he received a slight flesh wound, 
was anything but a Russell article of the later days. 
He was sent to Cherbourg for the great naval review of 
1850; he went about England with Kossuth; he cov^ed 
law reports, launchings and theatres; never did he 
know what might be required of him. His paper 
used him for the funeral of the Duke of Wellington. 
Hie beat and most important picture stories were 
coming his way. Also he was intimate with such men 
as Douglas Jerrold, John Leech and Charles Reade, and 
a welcome visitor to the Garrick, and also at the Field- 
mg Club, -whxsK "there was just a suspicion of the 



n,g,i.n.b,.G00gIc 



34 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

coast of Bohemia vnong the habitues." Thus he 
reached at the age of thirty-four the most eventful 
year of his life. 

Said Russell : " Wheu the year of grace 1854 opened 
on me I had no more idea of being what is now — ab- 
surdly I think — called a 'war correspondent* than 
I had of becoming Lord Chancellor." Probably he 
had less, for be still indulged the notion that the law 
was to be his permanent profession. But Delane 
requisitioned him for the trip to Malta and soon he 
departed upon what was to be the chief illustration 
to the world of the work of the special correspondent. 

Dickens and Thackeray were among the friends who 
gave him a farewell dinner. With the departure (4 
tbe Gruards on February 22 began his mishaps. His 
permission to sail had not arrived when he reached 
Southampton. He went by another route to Valetta, 
whence he wrote gossipy letters to London. Word 
came from The Times tiiat England and France woe 
to send a joint force to Turkey. But how was Russell 
to move when the army moved? The ships were 
all in government service and he had no right aboard. 
A friend came to his rescue. Let him be ready at any 
moment and this friend in need would engage to see 
that he got off. 

On the night of March 20, as he was at the Lodge of 
St. Peter and St. Paul getting ready for initiation, "an 
orderly thundered at the door and handed in a slip 
of paper." The message read: "The Golden Fleece 
will be off at midnight. Your berth is aU ri^t. Gret 
your things on board at once." He left his friends at 
the Masonic gathering, and started for Turkey without 
a horse and minus a servant who stayed ashore with the 
greater part oi his kit. But his heart was almost 



. nigiUrrlbyGOOgIC 



SIR WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL 86 

as light as was his baf^age. A wedc after his em- 
barkation he landed at Gallipoli. and then his troubles 
b^an anew. 

He was nobody's child. The Rifles marched off; 
he remained behind. He had neither quarters nor 
rations. Money he had, but there was naught to buy. 
He spoke no Greek and no Turkish. The life about 
him was novel and exdting enough; a stream of ^ps 
was passing all the time; strange unif^^Tns, Turcos, 
Chasseurs, Spahis; salutes were almost continuous, 
and dignitaries, French and English, were landing and 
departing. The tide of war was flowing constantly 
northward throu^ the Dardanelles, and presently 
Russell made shift to go to Scutari. Here he was more 
comfortable for a while. He could buy what he wuited, 
but — 

"One evening, returning from a ride, he discovered 
his tent as flat as a pancake about four hundred 
yards from camp," so the story is related. "An official 
had ordered the tent removed at once. On inquiry 
Russell found that the Commander-in-Chief and bis 
staff had been inspecting the camp; some one noticed 
the tent, a non-r^ulation ridgepole thing. 'Whose 
is itf 'The Timet' correspondent's.' Brigadier Ben- 
tjnck at once fulminated: 'What the — etc., etc., is 
he doing here?' And the tent came down." 

By this time bis frank letters about the deprivations 
tA sick soldiers were beginning to expose him to the 
serious displeasure of the army officers, and more than 
ever it was becoming hopeless for him to try to get 
anything needed for himself or those he employed. 
Delane at length wrote that the government had 
ordered that facilities should be provided for him, 
and he wait to the quarters of Lord Raglan near 



DigiUrrlbyGOOglC 



36 FAMOUS WAR COBBESPONDENTS 

Scutari with some hope of relief. But Lord Baglan was 
"very much engaged." TTie aide heard his request with 
what Russell says was an expression half of amusement 
and half of amazement, and finally told him with the 
utmost politeness that there was not the least chanoe 
of hia wishes being granted. 

Russell gave it up for the time being and went 
across to Pera and an hotel. Soon he nnbarked with 
the expedition for Varna. His position was in no way 
bettered. He wrote the paper: "I have just been 
informed on good authority that Lord Ri^Ian has 
determined not to recognize the press in any way, or 
to give them rations or assistance, and worse than all, 
it is too probable that he will forbid our accompanying 
the tnx^." 

The news man was merely a camp follower. His 
tent was removed and put outside the lines. Thus he 
was liable to robbery, and, as one outside the army, 
tile men would think him an outcast and the officers 
would be shy of contact and of speech with him. 
After a time the Duke of Cambridge saw the lone, 
little blue-striped tent on a deserted camping-^roimd. 
An officer was sent to ask what tent it was and the 
Duke was astonished by the answer, "It belongs to 
The Times' correspondent, Mr. Russell." "What is he 
doing here?" was again the question. But the tent 
was left until the evening, when Russell packed up 
again and went by bullock transport from Varna to 
Devna. 

At last such directions came as permitted him to 
draw rations and pay the Commissariat for thrai. 
Almost immediately thereafter arrived the orders 
for the embarkation for the Black Sea peninsula, known 
as the Crimea. And again Russell was hard put to 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Sm WILLUM HOWABD RUSSELL S7 

H to stay with the troops. He said: "I probably 
would have lost touch with the army but that Sir De 
Lacy Evans invited me on board the Ciiy cf London. 
I sailed for the seat of war in an extremely desolate 
condition — without baggage, man or horse. " He had 
a few borrowed clothes when he set out on that event- 
ful campaign, a small bag with a change of linen, and 
that was about all. He had, moreover, but the 
vaguest idea of what he was to do. 

More miserable than ever was his plight when the 
landing was made. Some officers of the Seventh 
Fusiliers gave him a bit of biscuit and a swallow of 
soup. But when he undertook to return to the ship 
he found the small boats gone. That night he spent 
under a cart, hearing the splash of the rain, the thunder 
of the surf, and the striking of the ships' bells. 

The day before the battle of the Alma an officer 
rode up to him from a cluster of staff men, and said: 
"The General wants to know who you are and what 
you are doing here, sir." Russell explained. "I 
think you had better come and see the General your- 
self," said the aide. When Russell exfJaiDed once 
more, there was again a volley of profanity. 

"I had as soon see the devil," said the General. 
"What do you know about this kind of work and what 
will you do when we get into action?" And Riissell 
replied: "Wdl, it a quite true I have very little 
acquaintance with the business, but I suspect there are 
a great many here with no more knowledge than 
myself." And the General laughed and accused the 
correspondent of being an Lishman. 

After the battle Russell settled down at Balaclava. 
He dedared forever after that he could not remember 
how he came into possession of a house in which he 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



S8 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

lived. He had no claim to a foot of ground — 'every 
inch belonged to the army. But the boards were 
fitted to his windows and his roof was tarpaulined 
by friendly hands. He had the floor for a bed, and 
his "duds" hung from p^s on the walls. He was 
allowed at last to draw rations, but often enough he 
went hungry and cold. 

Then on a day came an officer with orders for the 
surrender of these quarters. They were said to be 
needed for "Her Majesty's Service." He might by 
this time have stirred the people at home to a burst 
of indignation by writing this fact to Tks Timet, but 
he held his peace and once more became a wanderer. 
The tents of friends sheltered him at times and some- 
times he sought a refuge aboard some ship. No 
wonder that in January, 1855, he sent word home that 
he was "getting bald as a round shot and grey as a 
badger" and "near losing his health and spirits." 

A decent degree of comfort in the end was provided 
for him by the arrival of a hut from England. The 
Times had been doing what was possible to secure him 
reasonable accommodations. But the distance was 
accounted great in those days and communication 
was slow. Things sent him went astray and some- 
times his letters were delayed. How that hut 
(^addened his eyes! "It was square with a sloping 
root, and with windows on two sides, and it was 
<livided by a partition." Later he added a stable, 
and in summer he actually had a little border of 
flowers about the place. The shells of the Russians 
occasionally fell near and one carried away his stable. 
When he finally left the Crimea, that hut was almost 
the last building before Sebastopol in which there was 
areadent. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Sm WnXIAM HOWARD RUSSELL 39 

I have lingered upon the record of Russell's hard- 
ships partly to indicate the attitude at that time of 
military men to a profession of which they knew 
nothing and for which they cared less, and partly be- 
cause Russell fathered the business of war reporting in 
Europe, and, therefore, a d^ree of interest in the ccm- 
ditions under which he did his work may reasonably be 
assumed. Now for the story of the enormous service 
Russdl rendered the armies of England by his exposures 
of the privations and sufferings which they were called 
upon to endure, exposures that resulted in the over- 
throw of a British ministry, and in the coming to the 
Crimea of Florence Nightingale and her band of 
devoted nurses. 

Even at GallipoU the correspondent had noted the 
"b^linnings of chaos in the British commissary and 
sanitary arrangements." He wrote Delane that the 
mismanagement was "infamous." At Varna he came 
face to face with the crisis in his life. 

He must tell what he saw, or he must shut his eyes 
and hold his tongue. He might have the comparative 
comforts of toleration from the British officers, by 
suppressing the facts which could not escape his 
attention and allowing himself to be persuaded that 
such things were but the dire necessities of war, or he 
might write the whole story to his pap« and acc^t 
the consequences. His biographer puts the case thus: 

"The test which comes sooner or later to every man 
came to him. In a few weeks he was to be a man of 
public affairs, engaged no longer in the description of 
incidents which were of no great importance one way or 
the other, but concerned in the Lives at thousands of 
human beings, supplying the facts which shook the 
Hone Guards and the Cabinet to their base, and 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



40 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

eventually brought the Aberdeen Ministry crashing to 
their ruin. The office of 'special correspondent* was 
truly created at that time." 

The world now weU knows the story of the horrors 
which were chronicled in the letters of Russell to The 
Times. He wrote Delane that he could not tell all the 
truth — it was too terrible. Warm clothing for the 
men came too late. The trenches were Slled with 
filth and water. The colonel of a r^ment of dragoons 
told him that the best stables in Euf^and could not 
now save their chargers — they were so far gone that 
they must die. The number of sick in the British 
army in Turkey and Bulgaria in April, 1854, was five 
hundred and three. In July at Varna the number was 
6937. In January following it was 23,076, For every 
death from other causes there were eight who died from 
the awful sufferings of that winter in the Crimea. The 
men were destitute of shelter, of greatcoats, of medi- 
cines. They were encamped on an open plateau, "a 
vast, black waste of soddened earth, when it was not 
covered with snow, dotted with little pools of foul water 
and seamed with brown-colored streamlets strewn with 
carcasses of horses." The Russian artillery fire 
was continuous through all that worst winter the 
Crimea had known in fifty years. 

In September Delane himself visited the East, so 
imeasy was the feeling in his mind, even at that early 
date. He saw with his own eyes something of the 
truth of what Russell was saying. The manager also 
had to endure a hurricane of abuse through the winter 
for printing Russell's letters, but he always said to his 
correspondent, "Tell the exact truth." 

And Russell, telling "the tsxaxX truth," was obliged 
to give to the world such facts as these: 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Sm WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL 41 

"As to the town itaeU, words cannot describe its filth, 
its horrors, its hospitals, its burials, its dead and dying 
Turks, its crowded lanes, its noisome sheds, its beastly pur- 
lieus, or its decf^. All the pictures ever drawn of plague 
and pestilence, from the work of the inspired writer who 
chronicled the woes of infidel Egypt down to the narratives 
t^ Boccaccio, DeFoe or Moltke, fall short of individual 
"bits' of disease and death, which any one may see in half 
a dozen places during half an hour's walk in Balaclava. 
In spite of aU our efforts the dying Turks have made of 
every lane and street a eloaca, and the forms of human suffer- 
ing which meet the eye at every turn, and once were wont to 
shock us, have now made us callous and have ceased to 
attract passing attention. Raise up the piece of matting 
or coarse rug which hangs across the doorway of some 
miserable house, from within which you hear waitings and 
cries of pun and prayers to the Prophet, and you will see 
in one spot and in one instant a mass of accumulated woes 
irtiich will serve you with nightmares for a lifetime. The dead, 
laid out as they died, are lying side by nde with the living, 
and the latter present a spectacle beyond all imagination. 
The commonest accessories of a hospital are wanting; there 
is not the least attention paid to decency or cleanliness — 
the stench is appalling — the fcetid air can barely struggle 
out to taint the atmosphere, save through the chinks in the 
walls and roofs, and, for all I can observe, these men die 
without the least effort being made to save them. There 
th«y lie, just as they were let gently down on the ground 
by the poor fellows, thar comrades, who brought them on 
their backs from the camp mth the greatest tenderness, 
but who are not allowed to remain with them. The sick 
aiqiear to be tended by the sick and the dying hy the dying. " 

Copies of The Timea of course were loailed back to 
tlie Crimea. The correspondent knew when his letters 
had been read by officers and friends, even though they 
said no word. Their faces were averted; they had no 
longer a smile of greeting for him; hints were conveyed 
to him in roundabout ways that the commanding 



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43 FAMOUS WAB CORRESPONDENTS 

g^iwals would make no objections to his departure. 
But he w«it OQ with his narrative of the misoies of 
that winter. The water was a foot deep in the tents 
of the men, coming through the canvas "like sieves." 
Shoes once off would not go back over their swollen 
feet; th^ h(^>ped about barefooted in the snow; 
their sheet-iron stoves would not stand their charcoal 
fuel. The "wretched boys" sent out to swell the 
thinned ranks " died ere a shot was fired against them. " 

Now Russell sent the simple, direct appeal which 
brought Florence Nightingale to the Crimea. "Are 
there no devoted women among us able and willing 
to go forth and minister to the sick and suffering 
solf^ers?" he asked. On November 4, 1854, "the 
Lady-in-Chi^" reached the hospital at Scutari. She 
had read the letters in The Timet. She knew the 
stories of provisions left to rot upon arrival at the 
front, of consignments of boots all found to be for the 
left foot, of hospital supplies left covered with muni- 
tions of war in the holds of vessels. At Scutari she 
found a barracks for Turkish soldiers transformed into 
a hospital, with four miles of corridors in which there 
lay 18,000 soldiers. And with but thirty-four nurses 
she had come to clean this Augean stable. In the 
outcome she taught the world that men and women 
may be organized to save life, as armies long had been 
trained and organized to destroy it. 

The Crimean letters stirred such passionate demands 
from the people of En^and that at last a motion for an 
inquiry into the state of the troops before Sebastopol 
was carried in Parliament and the Aberdeen Ministry 
was overthrown. The Duke of Newcastle said later 
to Russell: "It was you who turned out the Govenn 
vaexA." 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Sm WTLLIAM HOWAUD RUSSELL 4S 

To be sure th«« were bom of Ruasell's letters and 
of the policy of The Times controversies that continued 
for many years. The correspondent was accused tii 
attacking Lord Ri^an, even of hounding him to death, 
and of going far beyond his Intimate province in his 
criticisms of English commanders. ' lato the con- 
troversy this record of war correspondents may not 
enter. But it may be noted in passing that Lord 
Wolseley and Sir Evelyn Wood used language as . 
strong as Russell's in denouncing the neglect <^ the 
troops. And it seems certain that the facts as to 
conditions on the plateau at Sebastopol would never 
have been known save for the bold truth-telling of this 
newspaper man. He may have made some mistakes; 
long since it has be^i agreed that he bravely did his 
duty. 

Tlie letters in which Russell described the battles 
fought in the campaign were read by the world as a new 
thing in joiunalism. So vivid and comprehensive were 
they that they yet remain models of their kind. Their 
readers felt that they were on the ground; they saw the 
movements of the men; they heard the cheers of the 
combatants; they saw the smoke of the battlefield and 
the bursting of the Russian shells. 

When the battle of the Alma was fought on Sep- 
tember 20, 1854, Russell was with the cavalcade that 
followed Lord Ra^an about. An officer ordered 
Russell away; he alone had no recognized business 
on the field. Other generals also brushed him aside, 
but he managed to stay at the front. In the 
saddle for ten hours, his horse bleeding from a cut 
in the 1^ and unable longer to carry him, he was not 
under the necessity of the modem correspondent (^ 
going for the wire when the conflict ended, for the9« 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



44 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

was DO wire. Next morning he began to write on the 
parapet of a battery, when an oflScer of engineers saw 
his predicament, and had a plank placed across two 
casks for a table. That first letter never reached 
The Time*, but the second, written on the basis of 
additional information, appeared in the paper. 

Russell saw the chaises, both of the Light Brigade 
and of the Heavy Brigade, at Balaclava, and a few 
minutes after each event he was on the field over which 
they had dashed. From his letter there must be cited 
some passages of his description of the valor of the 
famous Six Hundred: 

"Lord Lucan, with reluctance, gave the order to Lord 
Cardigan to advance upon the guns, conceiving that his 
orders compelled him to do so. The noble Earl, although 
he did not shrink, also saw the fearful odds agunst him. 
' Don Quixote in his tilt agunst the windmill was not near 
so rash and reckless as the gallant fellows who prepared 
without a thought to rush on almost certain death. . . . 
There was a plain to charge over, before the enemy's guns 
were leached, of a mile and a half in length. 

"At ten minutes past eleven our Light Cavalry Brigade 
advanced. The whole brigade scarcely made one effective 
re^ment, according to the numbers of continental armies; 
and yet it was more than we could spare. As they rushed 
towards the front, the Russians opened on them from the 
guns in the redoubt on the ri^t, with volleys of musketry 
and rifles. 

"They swept proudly past, glittering in the morning 
sun in all the pride and splendour of war. We could scarcely 
believe the evidence of our senses! Surely that handful of 
men are not going to duirge an enemy in positioa? Alas! 
it was but too true — their despnate valor knew no bounds, 
and far indeed was it removed from its so-called better 
part — discretion. They advanced in two lines, quickening 
their pace as they closed towards the enemy. A more fearful 
q>ectacle was never witnessed than t^ those who, without 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



SIR WnJJAM HOWARD RUSSELL 40 

the power to aid, beheld their heroic countryuien ruahing 
to the anna of death. At the distance of 1200 yards the 
whole line of the enemy belched forth, from thirt? iron 
moutbst a flood of smoke and flame, through which hissed 
the deadly balls. Their flight was marked by instant 
gaps in our ranks, 1^ dead men and horses, l^ steeds flying 
wounded or riderless across the plwn. 

"The first line is broken, it is joined by the second, thcgr 
never h^t or check their speed for an instant; with dimin- 
ished ranks, thinned by those thirty guns, which the Rus- 
sians had laid with the most deadly accuracy, with the halo 
of flashing steel above th«r heads, and with a cheer whidi 
was many a noble fellow's death-cry, th^ flew into the 
smoke of the batteries, but ere they were lost from view the 
I^ain was strewed with their bodies and with the carcasses 
of horses. They were exposed to an oblique fire from the 
battles on the hills on both sides, as well as to a direct fire 
of musketiy. 

"Through the clouds ot smoke we could see their sabres 
flaslung as they rode to the guns and dashed between them, 
cutting down the gunners as they stood. We saw them 
riding through the guns; to our delight we saw them 
returning, after breaking through a column of Russian 
infantry, and scattering them like chaff, when the flank Are 
€>t the battery on the hill swept them down, scattered and 
broken as they were. Wounded men and dismounted 
troopers flying towards us told the sad tale — denu-gods 
could not have done what we had fuled to do. At the very 
moment when they were about to retreat an enormous 
mass of Lancers was hurled at their flank. Colonel Shewell 
d the Eighth Hussars saw the danger and rode his few 
men straight at them, cutting his way through with fearful 
loss. With courage too great for credence they were break- 
ing their way through the columns which enveloped them, 
when there took place an act of atrocity without parallel 
in the modem warfare of civilized nations. The Russian 
gunners, when the storm of cavalry had passed, returned to 
their guns. Th^ saw their own cavalry mingled with 
the troopers who had just ridden over them, and, to the 
eternal disgrace of the Russian name, the miscreants poured 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



46 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

a voll«y of grape and canister on the mass of stnigf^ing 
men and horses, mingling friend and foe in one common 
ruin. . . . 

"At thirty-five minutes paat eleven not a British s(^er, 
except the dead and dying, was Mt in front of these bloody 
Muscovite guns. C^>tun Nolan was killed by the first 
shot fired) as he rode in advance of the Hussars, chening 
them on. . . . " 

Surely the mod^ns ate not doing any better than 
Russell in thia Crimean letter at the bef;inning of his 
career as a war reporter. The letter from which this 
long excerpt is taken was written immediately after 
the action. He had been all day without food, and 
he was "exhausted to the point oi dejection." But 
the mail would leave in a few hours, and write he must. 
With a saddle for a seat, his knee for his desk, a candle 
in a bottle for his lamp, he wrote till the candle "dis- 
appeared in the bottle like a stage demon through a 
trapdoor." 

There were several famous episodes in this battle, 
and in one of Russell's descriptive passages occurs- the 
classic phrase wimtt Rudyard Kipling has not allowed 
the world to forget. The Crimean observer was 
indicating the manner in which the OSd Highlanders 
met the charge of the Russian cavalry. He aaid: 

"The Russians on th^ left drew breath for a moment, 
and then in one grand line charged towards Balaclava. The 
ground flies beneath their horses' feet; gathering speed at 
every stride, they dash on towards that ^tn red a^eak 
lopped viith a Una of steel." 

Later he changed the words, and made the phrase 
lead, "Ihe thin red line tipped with steel," and that 
has become the standard expression for the writers 
upon war. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



- s 

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7„i by Google 



b, Google 



Sm WnJJAM HOWARD RUSSELL 47 

The battle of Likerman lingered in Riissell's mem- 
ory long after many a later conflict had been forgotten. 
On the morning of the battle a lantern flashed in his 
eyes, and a voice cried, "Get up; we are attacked." 
He crammed some biscuit and cheese into one holster, 
and a revolver and a flask of rum into the other, and 
started. At dawn he was under the heaviest artillery 
fire to which he ever had been exposed, and during the 
day he saw the Sandbag Battery taken and retaken 
seven times. 

Of the final events of the Crimean war, which 
marked the beginning of the art of war correspondence, 
Russell saw the attack upon the Redan and the taking 
of the Malakoff by the French, and the descriptions 
he sent home to The Times were among the most 
spirited pieces of writing ever penned by a correspond- 
ent: 

"After houTB c^ suspense the moment came at last. 
At five minutes b^ore twelve o'clock the French, like a swarm 
of bees, issued forth from their trenches close to the doomed 
Blalakoff, scrambled up its faces and were throu^ the 
onbrasures in the twinjding of an eye. They crossed the 
seven metres of ground which separated them from the 
eoemy at a few bounds — they drifted as li^tly and 
quickly as autumn leaves before the wind, battalion aft» 
battalion, into the embrasures, and in a minute or two 
after the head of their column issued from the ditch the 
tricolor was floating over the KomiloS Bastion. " 

The Russians burned Sebastopol and evacuated the 
place. The war was over. Russell with great diflS- 
culty obtained a passage to Constantinople, and thence 
he made his way to England. For weeks after his 
home-coming he was still living in the atmosphere 
<rf war. He would tumble out of bed at all hours 
shouting, "Sortie! Sortie!" and his startled wife would 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



48 FAMOUS WAR COKRESPONDENTS 

be soberly assured that he certainly had heard musketry 
somewhere, and that the Guards must be out at very 
early drill. 

The remarks of a later journalist and war corre- 
spondentt George W. Smalley, make the appropriate 
conclusion for this narrative of Russell's Crimean 



I "The one great triumph of English journalism in the 

i Crimea . . . was due to the geniua and courage of one man, 

I Dr. Kussell. ... It was a great public service, the greatest 

t perhaps which any journalist in the field ever performed. 

; But it was not exactly journalism. It had little or nothing 

i to do with speed and accuracy in the collection and trans- 

I mission of news, which, after all, must be the chief business 

t of a correspondent. It has never been imitated. It never 
will be, till another Russell appears to rescue another 

■ British army in another Crimea. . . " 

j The reporter's obedience to orders is that of the 

I soldier on duty — immediate, unquestioning and un- 
flinching. Russell had a rest of ten days and th^i wa3 
off to Russia for the Czar's coronation. Trinity 
College gave him the degree of Doctor of Laws, and 
*'Dr.'* Russell he remained to the end of his life. 
For a little while he lectured, but declared the only 
lecture he had his heart in was the one given for the 
benefit of his old friend, Douglas Jerrold. 

With startling suddenness he was ordered to India 
to inquire into the reports of the atrocities there. 
Delane was fully persuaded that the suppression of the 
Mutiny could only be accomplished after a protracted 
campaign. Russell obeyed orders, but it was with a 
breaking heart that he left England on December 26( 
1857, for his wife was too ill to be told of his going unt3 
aaras time after he had left. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Sm WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL 49 

A journey of twenty-four days brought bim to 
Calcutta. Of course the early events of the Mutiny 
by that time were familiar to the world. The Mutiny 
proper had begun the preceding May, and in a few 
weeks 90,000 native troops were in rebellion. They 
slew many ofBcers and hundreds of women and children. 
They had ammunition, artillery, horses and supplies. 
Li all India were some 40,000 English troops; another 
40,000 were shipped from England around Africa and 
some thousands destined for China were transferred to 
India. Before Russell arrived Havelock had entered 
Cawnpore, and, at last, re-enforced by Outram, his 
heroic band of 8000 men had fou^t their way to 
Lucknow, only in turn to be hemmed in and besieged 
until Sir Colin Campbell succeeded in reaching the 
Residency. 

This time the way had been prepared for the 
correspondent. A servant was awaiting him, who 
salaamed, and sud: "My name Simon! Me Master's 
servant!" and took possession of his belongings. 
Lord Canning, the Governor-General, was ready to 
aid The Timet man. Soon he was on his way to 
Cawnpore and Sir Colin Campbell. Almost on the 
instant they made this compact: "You shall know 
everything that is going on," said Sir Colin. "You 
shall know all my reports and get every information 
that I have myself, on condition that you do not 
mention it in camp or let it be known in any way, ex- 
cept in your letters to England," and Russell at once 
accepted the terms. 

The Commander-in-Chief thereupon showed the 
correspondent every attention. He kept Russetl 
posted; at all hours of the day or night he would come 
to the writer's tent with papers and explain the situa- 



A Ml,,. Google 



50 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

tioD of affairs. This great soldier certainly knew how 
to treat a newspaper man. A competent observer 
whom Russell met in India had this to say of the out- 
come: "Dr. Russell availed himself fully of his priv- 
ileges without in any way abusing his position .... 
He obtained early and quite authentic information. 
And then his amazing powers of observation enabled 
him, though in a new scene, to supply backgrounds 
and accessories so sympathetically that the true 
Oriental atmosphere was produced." 

The Ganges was crossed on February 27, 1858, the 
day that Colin Campbell began the march for the 
retaking of Lucknow. Arrived in front of the city, 
Russell made his way to the Dilkusha where head- 
quarters were established. He crossed a courtyard, 
ascended a flight of steps to a great hall, and proceeded 
through heaps of ruin, broken mirror-frames, crystals 
of chandeliers, tapestries, pictures and piles of furniture, 
to the fiat roof. Then a "vision indeed" burst upon 
him — 

"A vision of palaces, minars, domes, azure and gotdeu, 
ciqmtaa, colonnades, long facades of fair perspective in jnllar 
and column, terraced roofs, all rising up amid a calm and 
still ocean of tlie brightest verdure. Look for miles and 
miles away and still the ocean spreads, and the towers of 
the fairy city gleam in its midst. Spires of gold glitter 
in the sun. Turrets and gilded spheres shine like constella- 
tions." 

The city was said to contain about a million people 
and a good 150,000 armed men, with tr^iches and 
rifle pits by the mile. 

That roof became the observation tower of Ths 
Times special. From it he watched the bombudment; 
he dared not leave it lest he miss some important 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



sm wnxuM Howard russell si 

incident. With the Commander-in-Chief he saw the 
supreme struggle of the assault. The discipline of the 
army broke down when the Kaiser-Bagh was taken 
and the wild scene of pillage that ensued gave Russell 
one of his best opportunities: 

"Imagine courts as large as the Temple Gardens, sur- 
rounded with ranges of palaces, or at least of buildings 
well-stuccoed and gilded, with fresco pwntings here and 
there on the blind-windows, and with green jalousies and 
Venetian blinds closing the ^>ertures which pierce the walls 
in double rows. In the body of the court are statues, lines 
of lamp-posts, fountains, orange-groves, aqueducts, and 
kiosks with burnished domes of metal. 

"Through these hither and thither with loud cries 
dart Eurtq>ean and native soldiery firing at the windows, 
from which come now and then dropping shots or hisses a 
musket-ball. At every door there is a crowd, smashing the 
panels with the stocks of their firelocks or breaking the 
fastenings by discharges of their weapons. The buildings 
which surround the court are irregular in form, for here and 
there the lines of the quadrangle are broken by columned 
fronts and lofty porticoes before the mansions of the ministry, 
or of the great officers of the royal household, which are 
resplendent with richly gilt roofs and domes. 

"Here and there the invaders have forced their way 
into the long corridors, and you hear the musketry rattling 
inside; the crash of glass, the shouts and yells of the com- 
batants, and Uttle jets of smoke curl out of the closed 
lattices. Lying amid the orange groves are dead and 
dying Septus; and the white statues are reddened with blood. 

"Leaning against a smiling Venus is a British soldier 
shot through the neck, gasping, and at every gasp bleeding 
to death! Here and there officers are running to and fro 
after their men, persuading and threatening in vain. From 
the broken portals issue soldiers laden with loot. Shawls, 
rich tapestry, gold and silver brocade, caskets of jewels, 
arms, splendid dresses. The men are wild with fury and 
hist of gold — hterally drunk with plunder. Some come 
out with china vases or mirrors, dash them to pieces on 



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52 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the ground, and return to seek more valuable booty. Othos 
are busy gouging out the precious stones from the stems of 
lupea, hom raddlecloths. or the hilts of swords, or butts of 
IHStola and firearms. Some swathe their bodies with stuffs 
crusted with jnedous metals and genu; others carry off 
useless liunber, brass pots, pictures, or vases of jade and 

"Enter three or four banditti of RegimenL Faces 

black with powder, cross-belts speckled with blood; coats 
stuffed out with all sorts of valuables. And now conmienced 
the work of plunder before our veiy eyes. The first door 
rensted every sort of violence liU the rifle muzzle was 
placed to the lock, which was sent flying by the discharge 
of the [uece. The men rushed in with a ^lout, and soon 
they came out with caskets of jewels, iron boxes and safes, 
and wooden boxes full of arms crusted with gold and pre- 
cious stones. One fellow, having burst open a leaden-looking 
lid, which was in reality of solid silver, drew out an armlet of 
emeralds, diamonds and pearls, so large that I really believed 
they were not real stones, and that they formed a part <rf a 
chuidelier chain. . . . 

"Oh, the toil of that dfl^ ! Never had I felt such exhaus- 
tion. It was horrid enou^ to have to stumble through 
endless courts which were like vapor baths, amid dead 
bodies, through sights worthy of the Ijifemo, by blazing walls 
which nught be pregnant with mines, over breaches, in and 
out of smouldering embrasures, across frail ladders, suffo- 
cated by deadly smells of rotting corpses, of rotten ghee, or 
vile native scents; but the secthiog crowd of camp followers 
into which we em^^ed was something worse. As ravenous, 
and almost as foul, as vultures, th^ were packed in a dense 
mass in the street, afraid or unable to go into the palaces, 
and like the birds they resembled waiting till the fight was 
done to prey on th^ plunder." 

Throughout the day and the night the riot of 
pillage continued. The place was to Russell a blend 
of the Tuileriea, the Louvre, Versailles, Scutari, and 
the Winter Palace, with an entourage of hovels worthy 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



SIR WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL 5S 

of Gallipot!, and an interior of gardens worthy of Kew. 
He wandered through the zenanas; everywhere he 
found materials for his facile pen. Page after page of 
the letters he sent home is devoted to the seenes he 
witnessed here. He said it was beyond the bounds of 
imagination to reckon the value of the property taken 
out of the city by soldiers and camp-followers. 

Sickness attat^ed the correspondent, and he was 
obliged to take to a dooly in which he was carried down 
to Cawnpore. Upon hia recovery he made extensive 
marches with Sir Colin Campbell, and in the course 
of one of them an accident befell him from which he 
was long to suffer. He was trying to protect his horse 
from some "uproarious stallions" when a powerful 
Arab kicked him in the stomach and thigh. For 
days again he had to be carried. He wrote that 
"looking out from his port^le bedstead he could see 
nothing but l^s of men, horses, camels and elephants 
moving past in the dusk," adding that as "the trees 
were scanty by the roadside and there was no shade 
to afford the smallest shelter from the blazing sun" 
he had "all the sensations of a man who is smothering 
in a mud bath." 

All this time he was looking for facts as to events 
which he had not witnessed and to ascertain which 
he primarily had been sent to India. He secured a 
quantity of evidence as to the appalling enormities of 
the Sepoys, how they had blown English women from 
the mouths of their cannon and made practice targets 
of children. There was proof enough of massacre and 
barbarity, but Russell would defend in no single 
sentence the English policy of reprisals. He had no 
patience with the argument that provocation was 
unprecedented and that excess must be met with excess. 



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64 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

He wrote: "I believe we pennit things to be done in 
India which we would not permit to be done in Europe, 
or could not hope to effect without public reprobation. " 
This was all characteristic of the independence of 
judgment of thia man of quick emotions and prompt 
actions. But the officers and men of the little columns 
which had fought their way through the masses of 
mutineers to the rescue of their countrymen had no 
sympathy with his views and many of them and their 
friends criticized him bitterly. 

With the coming of the "war in the States" The 
Times requisitioned him once more. Dr. Russell came 
to America with a great reputation to sustain, repre- 
senting what was admittedly the most powerful news- 
paper in the world, and that paper was defending the 
Southern cause. In the book which he piU>lished in 
1863 containing, in an amplified and somewhat modi- 
fied form, bis diaries, he said: "I had no theories to up- 
hold, no prejudices to subserve, no interests to advance, 
no instructions to fulfil; I was a free ag^it." 

In spite of the policy of his paper he was received 
pleasantly everywhere and invited to meet the repre- 
sentative men of the nation. But he was singularly 
unlucky during bis stay, and at times lacking in 
tactfulness, while, as was the case wherever he went 
for his paper, he criticized freely what he saw that 
in his judgment merited criticism, and he made much 
of the more wmiwing side of American life and man- 
ners. Immediately he set about his work of investiga- 
tion and soon be found that his opinions upon various 
important issues were not those of the London daily. 
At Washington he met President Lincohi, Secretary 
Seward, and other statesmen. From the capital he 
went to Baltimore, Norfolk and Charleston. He made 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Sm WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL 65 

entries in his diary which prove that at least at the 
time he did not appreciate the mighty sentiment in 
the North which at last would produce a great and 
victorious army, writing that "he was more than 
ever convinced that the Union could never be restored 
as it was. " In Montgomery he called upon Jefferson 
Davis. He journeyed to Mobile and in a small coast- 
ing steamer voyaged to Fort Pickens. In New 
Orleans he found Zouaves, Chasseurs and Turcos 
thronging the streets and placards of the organization 
ot volunteer companies covering the walls. In a store 
the mistress and her sewing girb were too busy stitch- 
ing flags to sell him some shirts. 

Going up the Mississippi he passed within the 
Federal lines at Cairo. Here he found of course an 
amazingly different atmosphere. In New Orleans 
the Northerners had been "assassins," "cutthroats," 
and "Uncoln's mercenaries;" here the Southerners 
were "conspirators," "rebels," and "slave-breeders." 
By the third of July he was back in Washington. 
Soon there followed the conflict and the letter to The 
TimM which gave him his nickname of "Bull Run 
Russell." 

By this time his paper was detested throughout the 
North as a Secession organ. It was becoming bard 
for him to have his requests attended to. How was 
he to go to the front now that the army was about to 
move? There was no precedent for the supply of 
the needs of correspondents from Government stores. 
He could get no order for rations for himself or his 
animals. American newspapermen could get along; 
most of them had friends with the army, but the case 
was v«7 different with Russell. 

On the morning of the 19th of July he left Washlng- 



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56 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

ton for the scene of the expected battle. A thirty-mile 
ride brought him into the midst of "an increasing 
stream of fugitives." In bis long description ot the 
events of the day he said: 

"The scene on the road had now assumed an aspect 
which has not any parallel in any description I have ever 
read. . . . Infantry soldiers on mules and draught horses, 
with the harness dingiiig to their heels, as much frightened 
as their riders; n^ro servants on their masters' chargers; 
ambulances crowded with unwounded soldiers; wagons 
swarming with men who threw out the contents into the road 
to make room, grinding through a screaming, shouting 
mass of men on foot, who were hterally yelling with rage 
at every halt . . . 

"There was nothing for it but to go with the current 
one could not stem. I turned round my horse from the 
deserted guns. ... It never occurred to me that this was a 
grand debacle. All along I believed that the mass of the 
army was not broken, and that all I saw around me was the 
result of confusion created in a crude organizatJon 1^ a 
forced retreat. ..." 

Late in the ni^t the correspondent got back into 
Washington. In the morning he looked through his 
windcws upon a day of pouring rain, and saw *' a steady 
stream of men, soaked with rain and covered with mud, 
who were passing without any semblance of order to- 
wards the Cf^itol." He noted that tbey belonged 
to various regiments, that many were without knap- 
sacks, belts and muskets, that some had neither 
greatcoats or shoes, wid that others were covered 
with blankets. He wrote his letter to The Times, 
with the Army of the Potomac straggling by all day 
long. Tluit night be worked upon a second letter, 
interrupted often by soldiers who saw his li^t and 
came to ask for water. 

A month later the mails brought the English paper 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Sm WILLIAM HOWAHD RUSSELL 57 

with Russell's description of the rout of the first 
battle of Bull Run. Instantly the North burst into 
denunciation of The Times and iX& reporter. There 
was scarcely a Union paper which did not upbraid 
Russell. Anonymous letters threatened him with 
bowie-knife and revolver. Graxeral McDowell, who 
had commanded the Federals at Bull Run, said laugh- 
ingly to him: "I must confess I am rejtnced to find you 
are as much abused as I have beoi. . . . Bull Run was 
an unfortunate affair for both of us, for had I won it 
you would have had to describe the pursuit of the flying 
enemy and \hiesa you would have been the most popular 
writer in America and I should have been lauded as 
the greatest of generals." 

About the head of the unhappy special the storm 
raged furiously and long. Frowning faces were turned 
upon him in the street. He was pointed out in stores 
as "Bull Run Russell.*' Becoming convinced by 
mid-September that General McClellan intended no 
movement for the time, he undertook another attended 
journey for the study of political conditions, going as 
far as Illinois and returning by way of Canada. Back 
in Washington he judged that McClellan was about 
to move and his principal concern therefore was to get 
permission from Secretary Stanton to go to the front 
and to draw rations. No officer was willing to assume 
any responsibility for a man shadowed as was Russell 
in popular estimation. He failed to obtain permission 
to accompany McClellan, and, moreover, orders were 
issued by the War Department which prevented his 
sailing for Fortress Monroe. 

He conceived his situation had become xmtenable, 
that his usefulness was at an end. He was identified 
with an opprobrious name and it seemed to him 



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58 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

impoasible to continue under such conditions. Early 
in April, 1862, he sailed for home. Letters from 
Delane, written after his embarkation, reached him 
finally in England, in which he was urged not to think 
of coming back. Tlie maiiager and the editor of the 
paper were siuprised in anything but an agreeable 
fashion when Russell walked in upon them. Never- 
theless these were appreciative men for whom he 
labored. They had reminded him many times of his 
"great fame" and the necessity of doing nothing to 
lessen his prestige in the eyes of the world. They also 
realized that their correspondent had done much tax 
The Times. Their good will found egression in 
November in a pension of £S00 which they settled 
upon Russell for life without any claim upon him for 
labor. 

Every American must regret that the famous 
descriptive writer did not see some of the mighty 
struggles of the Civil War, and that he had no further 
chance to study the character of the President. It 
is almost certain, also, that if he had continued in 
America he would have influenced at least to some 
extent the sentiments of his paper. It has been said 
by the biographer of Delane that "Russell's foresi^t 
told him not only that the North must win in the end 
but that it deserved to win, and his letters gave no en- 
couragement to the belief which was shared by Glad- 
stone that ultimate victory was assured to the South." 
Russell himself in June, 1865, wrote this in his diary: 
"Had The Times followed my advice how different 
our [M>8ition would be — not only that of the leading 
journal but of England." 

But many times this observer expressed the con- 
viction that the Union co\ild not be restored. His 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



SIR WIUJAM HOWARD RUSSELL 59 

estimates of aituations contained much that was 
penetrating and much that was rash. Russell returned 
across the ocean without having added to his fame, to 
face editors who were chagrined by his action. It is 
quite certain that the correspondent's impetuosity 
betrayed him in this instance. Clearly enough he was 
not to be allowed to stay with the Federals at the 
front. But his duty was, what is the duty of a news- 
paper man always, to await orders and to obey them 
when they came whatever their nature. 

At the outbreak of the Austro-Pnissian war, m 
June, 1866, he took the field again. Arriving at 
Vienna, attentions were so freely bestowed upon him 
that he declared, "It is almost as though I were doing 
the Austrians a service by being here. " The Times had 
several men with the contending armies: Captain 
Bradcenbury was with Russell and Captain Hozier 
represented the paper with the Prussians. The one 
great event of this Seven Weeks* War was the Battle of 
Sadowa, fou^t by 220,000 Austrians and 240,000 
Frussiaos. From a lofty tower Russell beheld one of 
"the most obstinate and decisive battles of the world, " 
looking, he said, as "if on a raised map," on the whole 
scene. 

After the battle Russell went to Bnmn and the 
confusion was so terrible that to cover the thirty- 
eight miles fifteen hours were required. He was back 
in Vienna on July 6 and spent two days writing a 
full narrative of the defeat of Benedek and the Aus- 
trians. By the end of the month the war was over. 
Constantly he sent letters arguing the advantages of 
the "needle-gun" and "fixed anuuunition. " Nor were 
his words thrown away. They were cited in the 
House of Commons, and it was declared to be prob- 



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60 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

ably the first time "in which any newspaper corre- 
spondent, and that correspondent a civilian, was spoken 
of by a Minister of the Crown as a person most 
capable of giving an opinion — and whose opinion was 
entitled to great weight on a purely military subject. " 

A few hours after Louis Napoleon declared war on 
Prussia in 1870 Russell made up his mind to accept 
the proposal of The Timet that he represent the paper 
in the campaign. He was made welcome at Berlin 
and at Potsdam, and Bismarck rec^ved him "with 
the most charming frankness. ** He had his troubles 
before he made satisfactory connections with the 
army, but he was on the move with the headquarters 
staff before any fighting of consequence took place. 

The night before Sedan he was sent for and a hint 
given him as to what he might look for next day — 
what the present day reporters call a "tip." Luck 
led him through the mists of the following dawn to a 
ridge where he found King William himself with 
Moltke and Bismarck and others of distinction, 
among them General "Phil" Sheridan. Russell stayed 
some time near the Kong. He was watching the 
monarch and his two attendants, "the three terrible 
Fates before whose eyes the power of France was 
being broken to atoms." He says: "I sat surrounded 
by officers more excited than myself, whose eyes roamed 
over the battle-field, and whose lips quivered as they 
whispered like men in deep suspense, The French are 
making a great stand there. It is a hard fight. See 
how grave His Majesty is!' " Not only did Russell 
observe; he was himself observed. "The men who are 
around me," he said, "gaze curiously as, with watch 
in hand, I note down every five minutes the apparent 
changes in the fight." 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



SIR WnJJAM HOWARD RUSSELL 81 

A while before noon Russell's friend Seckendorf 
guided him to the observation point from which the 
Crown Prince was watchii^. Here he could follow 
yet more completely the desperate fighting oi the 
French. Gradually the German circle was closed in 
about the doomed Emperor. In his little notebook, 
trom which he tore a sheet at a time to be stored 
away in an envelope ready for mailing, he wrote: 
"Hie toils were closing around the prey. Indeed, it 
occurred to me over and over again that I was looking 
at some of those spectades familiar to Lidian sports- 
men, where the circle of hunters closes gradually in on 
the wild beast marked in his lair. The angry, despairing 
rushes of the French here and there ~~ the convulsive 
stru^es at one point — the hasty and tumultuous 
fli^t from others — gave one the idea of the supreme 
efforts of some wounded tiger." 

The Crown Prince summoned him to dine with 
him that night, and then Russell learned that 
Niqjoleon HL was a captive. Two days later occurred 
the famous and amusing incident of the competition 
with Hilary Skinner of the Dailj/ Newa to be first in 
London with a complete account of the battle. 

The story is one of the best in its entertaining 
aspect to be found in the history of war correspondence. 
Says Russell: 

"There Mr. Skimier and mysdf sat writing, or pretend- 
ing to write, for houra, he having decided on the same {dan 
that I had conceived and wistung to conceal any indication 
of it, and I equally reticent as to my intentions, but haunted 
ly the notion that he had divined my purpose. The church 
dock struck and recorded the flight of one hour after the 
other; I could see that my colleague's eyes were now and 
then scanning my face as I wrote. The candles burnt 
bw. . . • He made up his packet. *If you finish in five 



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62 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

minutes,' said he, 'I will wait for your letter and take it 
to the field post where they know me and will take it in order 
to oblige me; otherwise you are late.' I was 'very much 
obliged' of course, but said recklessly that I could not finish 
in time, and could not send by that mail at all. " 

The Daily News man disappeared for a space, 
returning to find Tke Times correspondent seemingly 
asleep. Next morning the one special asked the other 
in the most innocent manner what he had done with 
his letter. He was told that it had been deposited 
in the mall after all, having been sent while he had 
been out the night before. 

At the same instant their horses were led forth, and 
the holsters and pockets were stuffed with food. The 
DaHi/ News and Tke Times would "just have a look at 
the field." One decided to ride into the town for a 
cup of tea. The other decided he would have one 
also. Riding out of the town side by side, as by a 
common impulse, Tke Times and the DaUy News 
looked full into each other's faces. Then the decep- 
tion broke down and they burst into peals of laughter. 
Each had intended from the very first to go rif^t 
through to London. They went on together. 

Now Russell was to b^in a course of bitter experi- 
ences. He found that the papers of two days before 
had had tel^rams about the battle, and that the 
enormous disaster which had befallen France was 
news of the day before yesterday, which is called 
nowadays in newspaper offices "ancient history." 
Russell, however, had brought the first comprehensive 
account of the whole great series of events. He had 
written much of the story on the way and he dictated 
the rest until the hour the paper was obliged to go to 
press. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Sm WnXIAM HOWAKD RUSSELL 63 

But Russell saw that times had changed; the world 
wanted every morning at breakfast news of the battles 
fought the day before. The old postal methods of 
sending tidings were becoming antiquated. He had 
been accustomed to send complete accounts of the 
scenes he had witnessed, written with care both as to 
accuracy and style; now the struggle was to be first 
with the leading fact. Who won? Gret that on the 
wire. Then if more facts could be sait, give in the 
simplest schoolboy English the numbers IdUed, wounded 
and captured, and the disposition of the armies after 
the battle. Russell had cultivated his self-respect 
by Tii|t.Ving his work the best possible for him to do, 
but letters lost their power when they came the day 
after the publication of even the most wretchedly 
composed article which nevertheless contained the 
fundamental facts. Editors were beginning to clamor 
for speed. 

As Russell settled down to watch the siege of Paris 
he found the new conditions yet more impressive. 
lliere were scores of correspondents about and they 
were on the al^ night and day to hold their own 
against each other. Archibald Forbes was laying the 
foundation for his great reputation and the despatches 
of the Daily News were the amazement of London. 
The manager of The Times wrote Russell, "The express 
manager of the D. N. is more acute than we are 
here, or else he has the devil's own luck," and again, 
*' I beg you to use the telegraph freely. ' ' 

When the Ejng of Prussia with Bismarck and 
Moltke arrived at Versailles they treated Russell with 
so much cordiality that Matthew Arnold indulged 
in the well-known bit of satire, about the King hoisting 
the correspondent into the saddle while Bismarck held 



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64 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

his horse. But with all these gratityiiig attentions 
Russell was sorely perplexed and annoyed. The 
DaHy News kept, on scoring; he could not penetrate 
the secret. At one time he believed that the ambu- 
lance men and even the nuns were used as despatch 
bearers. How else could these messages get through 
with such cderityp The manager and the reporter 
constantly ^xijianged letters of chagrin. They were 
determined that something big must be "pulled oEF" 
b^ore the end to redeem their prestige. 

There is no question that Russell could not have 
worked by the methods of his rival. He aimed at 
comprehensiveness and accuracy, and Forbes, remark- 
able as were his letters, had to sacrifice in some decree 
these values. And all the lu<^ was against Russdl, 
seemingly. His messengers were delayed, and one, 
a lady, was captured and subjected to considerable 
annoyance. The perplexed special continued to send 
brilliant narratives to Ix)ndon, however. He saw the 
proclamation of Wilhelm as German Emperor in the 
Palace at Versailles. 

From his spirited description of the scene a few 
s^itences may be cited: 

"Hus gallery was ^cpressly devoted to the glorification 
of Louis XIV. It is a blaze of gilding, mirrors, allegorical 
pictures, gla^ panels, — which now encadred the black- 
robed Lutheran priests and the sted-bearing soldiers of 
Germany. . . . 

"On the right of the King was the Crown Prince in the 
uniform of a Field-Marshal, and then right and left were 
the leaders of the hosts which have made that King Emperor. 
Or — st^l was it he who stands there apart — not a soul 
near him by a yard in all that vast throng — stands there 
proudly in front of the extreme left of the semicircle of 
which the King is the centre — ao deadly pale — yet firmly 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Sm WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL 6fi 

idanted on his massive l^s as a man of iron — with one 
hand on the pommel of his sword — the soldier-minister 
who has risen from a bed of pain to assist at the work <A 
which he has at least some share. Count Bismarck? . . . 

"And then amid such waving of sworda and helmets, 
hurrahs as meetly greet great conquerors, Wilhelm, King of 
Prussia, was hailed EmperOT of Germany, and with tearful 
^es received the congratiUations of Princes, Dukes and 
Lords of the Empire. ..." 

At last a bit of luck was vouchsafed to Russell. 
In the street he met a friend who was extremely 
agitated. The correspondent was besought to say 
what it meant that Jules Favre was there. Russell 
was astounded. At headquarters be obtained con- 
firmation of the information. Immediately he sent 
off a telegram that n^otiations had b^un for the 
capitulation of Paris. The pres^ice of Favre in 
Versailles could mean nothing else. Now the manager 
of the paper was able to write Russell congratulations 
on a clean "scoop." 

What was fondly hoped would be the means of 
giving The Times the first account of the formal entry 
of the Germans into Paris was planned with great care 
by the anxious correspondent. For him that Mardi 1. 
1871, was a day of severe stress. He saw the 90,000 
Prussians and Bavarians march past the grandstand 
at Longchamps and arrive at the Arc de Triomphe. 
Twice on his way to the Embassy to write his account 
he was stopped by fiuious Frenchmen. For a time he 
was in danger; the crowds were beyond control. He 
got rid of his horse for on foot he attracted less 
attention. As no time remained to to go the Embassy, 
he hurried to meet the traveling companion who was 
to be his amanuensis, and they scurried for the Gare du 
Nord whence a special train was to carry them to Calais. 



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66 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

Once aboard the train Russell dictated until the 
port was reached and a spedal steamer took the sheets 
across the Channel. But he had not finished, and by wire 
he sent the balance, writing sheet after sheet until far 
beyond midnight. Even then The Times did not make 
a clean score. For, as has been told in another chapter, 
Forbes made the trip through to london, and was 
suspected, indeed, of having traveled as a fireman 
aboard Russell's special train. 

Aft» all, he came out of the war with laurels 
dimmed but little, and his manager wrote him "there is 
general consent about the superiority of an old hand who 
goes by the name of 'little Billee.' " And Bismarck 
in his "Autobiography" has this remark: "Russell 
. . . was usually bett^ informed than myself as to 
views and occurrences . . . and was a useful source 
<rf intelligence." 

There is much of interest and much that suggests the 
varied usefulness of a competent special in the 
story of the years that remained to Russell after tlus 
war was over. He made the tour of India, Egypt, 
Greece and Portugal, with the Prince of Wales. Then 
once more he started on the war path. It was in 
1879 that his friends were astonished to learn that he 
was going to South Africa with Sir Garnet Wolseley 
for the Daily Telegraph. The Times did not require 
him and he considered himself at liberty to make other 
engagements, although the journal which he had 
served so long was not very pleased at his decision. 
The Zulu war was about over when he arrived on the 
scene. His 1^ had never mended entirely from the 
kick of the stallion and an accident while crossing 
a swollen stream now lamed him for life. The only 
important incident for Russell in the campaign had to 



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SIR WnUAM HOWARD RUSSELL 67 

do with the chaises of misbehavior which he brought 
against some of the British troops, and out of which 
came a protracted controversy with Lord Wolaeley. 

In Egypt in 1882 the veteran found himself in the 
presoice of war, yet without any professional part 
in it. He made a tour with Colonel North, "the 
Nitrate King," in Chile, in 1889. The Queen's 
Jubilee came on and The Times turned to him for the 
description of the principal ceremonies, but his strength 
was on the wane and he declined the commission. 
The very last entry in his copious diaries was made 
under date of December 21, 1904, but it was more 
than two years later, on February 2, 1907, that he 
died. 

" Billy " Russell was the kind of man who would win 
and deserve such an affectionate nickname. E. L. 
Godkin has written of tus social qualities, his fund of 
&ish humor and his great abundance of good stories 
which he related with inimitable drollery. And 
Kinglake says he was "a great humorist, and, more, 
an Irish humorist, whose very tones fetched a laugh. " 
Both these writers pay tribute to his ability to pen 
powerful narratives and maintain his opinions in the 
face of criticism. That disUngmshed English officer. 
Sir Evelyn Wood, said that he " combined the acciu-acy 
of an Englishman, the shrewdness of a Scotchman, 
and the humorous wit of an Irishman. " Five Euro- 
pean countries, besides England, bestowed orders upon 
him; in 1895 he was knighted, and in 1002 King Edward 
slipped over his head the ribbon of the C. V. 0., 
whispering meantime to the veteran ci eighty years 
who had been his intimate friend, "Don't kneel, 
Billy, stoop," and giving him a warm grasp of the 
hand. 



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68 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

A great gift for prolonged and keen observation, 
a gift equally great for picturesque writing, a decided 
knack for friendship, a mind of no mean calibre and 
an almost unlimited capacity for toil, boldness which 
sometimes became impetuosity, absolute independence 
of judgment; these were some of the qualities which 
met in rare combination in William Howard Russell. 

To few newspaper men is there given such an 
opportunity as came to him in the Crimea. Hia 
chief distinction always will be that he told England 
the truth about the horrors of that winter on the 
plateau b^ore Sebastopol and saved for his country 
the remnants of her army. It may well be that the 
majority will agree with the vwdict inscribed upon the 
memorial in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral: 

"TEffi FIRST AND GREATEST OP WAR 
CORRESPONDENTS. " 



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CHAPTER m 
ARCHIBALD FORBES 



— WHUoM Bavard SmmU. 

"TIk moat remarkable perscmality I have come acrooa wu tlia late 
Archibald Forbeo. ... He wm by nature aa ideal «m concspoiideiit, for 
he could do more work, both mentally and physically, on the smalleat poa- 
rible amount of food, than any man I ever met. Amidst the noisB and 
(fin ot battle, aiid in dose prcudcnity to bnrBting sbdis, nhose dust would 
■omeliines fall upon the iwper, I have seen him calmly writins his detcrip- 
tion of the battle, not taking notes to be worked up afterwards, but actu- 
ally writing the vivid ocoount that waa to be transmitted to the wire, and 
that woric was alwaya good. His one great aim was to get the first and 
best news home ot any ngbtiog that mignt take place, andhe never spared 
himself till this was done. It was a gheer impossiUlity for a colleague to 
compete snccesafully irith Forbea. . . ." 

—Fredtrie FtUurj. 

In Fleet Street in the city of London a man stands 
spinning copper coins and watching them as they fall 
upon the pavement at his feet. Upon the toas of 
those coins depends his future, a fact which he appre- 
hends but dimly, although he already has laid the 
solid foundations of the career which is to make him 
famous as one of the moat enterprising and capable of 
war correspondents. 

He has news in his possession on this September day 
of 1870, news of enormous interest to the whole 
world. The Germans are at the gates of Paris. Some 
of the most momentous events of the century are im- 
pending. And this aggressive looking man, "in 
somewhat dilapidated boots," impatiently flipping 
coins in a busy London thoroughfare, has in his keep- 
ing the information for whicji all Iiondon is waiting; 



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70 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

indeed, he b the sole man in the city, aside from the 
Grerman Embasay, who can teU how the German 
troopa are disposed in the cordon which they are weav- 
ing coil upon coil about the French capital. 

Twice he has tried to market his wares. He has 
offered his story to James Grant, editor of the Morning 
AdoeifuteTt the -pa^ex which a few weeks b^orehad sent 
him to observe the movements of the German armies at 
the b^inning of the war. and Mr. Grant has rather 
curtly declined the article. He goes to The Times with 
his offer of news, hastily scrawling on a visiting card: 
"Left German front before Paris three days ago, pos- 
sessed of exclusive information as to disposition for 
beleaguerment." And a dooriceeper comes back and 
says that "the proper course is to write the article in 
the ordinary way, when the editor will have an oppor- 
tunity of judging <A its eligibility." 

Tlie man from the front is chagrined and some- 
what bewildered. Is it possible that editors have 
lost the scent for news? Can they not spare the time, 
even in the early part of the day, at least briefly to 
quiz a man who claims to have tidings that ought to 
be the big news feature of the dailies the following 
morning? 

He will make one more try, just one. He will not 
hawk his wares all over Fleet Street. There are three 
other daily papers, the DaUp News, The Daily Tde- 
grapk, and Ttu Standard. The coins shall determine 
to which of the three he goes. If once more he is 
"turned down" he thinks in his soreness of spirit 
he will go back to the weary drudgery of compiling 
the marriage and death notices of the London Scotsman, 
the little paper which he has started with his own 
monqr and to which he has been the sole contribute. 



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AHCHIBALD FORBES 71 

All three papars are strange to him, except that the 
DaHy Newa has once paid him nine pence for a para- 
graph. By the simple process of elimination known as 
"odd man out." the I>a% Newa wins the toss, and to 
the DaHy News in Bouverie Street goes Archibald 
Forbes with his "scoop." 

He asks for "Mr. Robinson," having a casual 
recollection of having heard the name mentioned in 
connection with the daily. There is a "Mr. Robin- 
son, a quiet-mannered man, with a high forehead, 
who looks steadily at him through spectacles as he 
speaks, and makes reply in these terms: 'Yes, that 
sounds very interesting and valuable. Will you 
oblige me by writing three colunms on the subject, 
and will you consider five guineas a column adequate 
remuneration?* " 

To his chambtts in Tudor Street goes Forbes to 
prepare his copy, and every hour a boy comes round to 
carry it to the offices of the Daily Newa. "In those 
days," Forbes said years after, "I had the gift of 
writing like a whirlwind, and I always found that the 
faster I wrote the better I wrote. ... In three hours' 
time or thereabouts I had written the allotted three 
columns, but the canvas allowed me would not hold 
half the picture. ... I determined I would go round 
and see this considerate Mr. Robinson, and offer, 
rather than spoil my picture, to finish it in a foiuth 
gratuitous column if he would have the charity to 
spare me the space." 

He finds an acting editor reading proofs. It is his 
copy. To his query the acting editor says: "We*ll 
take as much of this kind of stuff as you care to write." 
That laconic utterance is the warrant for three more 



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72 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

columns, and all six columns are read with intense 
interest by allEngland next day. 

But next day there is another episode that nearly 
ruptures the relations tfflitatively established between 
Forbes and the paper the night beFore. Forbes had 
read his proofs and gone away from the office walking 
on air. He breakfasts next tooming with one of the 
editors and a subject for a further contribution is decided 
upon. Later he calls at the office and is shown in to 
"Mr. Robinson," the man known to the world as Sir 
John Robinson, a veteran of the newspaper field and a 
journalist of the first ability, who says with a littie 
drawl: "I don't think we'll trouble you to write those 
contributions. " 

Forbes is astonished. His temper gets the better 
of him. These editors are making a fool of him. He 
consigns "Mr. Robinson," in language more vigorous 
than courteous, to a region where coal is not a com- 
modity of commerce, and hustles downstairs and into 
the street. Up Bouverie Street he strides, fuming be- 
hind his beard, when a hand comes down on his 
shoulder, and a voice says: "Don't be a fool! I was 
going to say that I want you to start tonight for Metz. " 

Forbes that ev^iing at seven meets Robinson. 
The editor wishes him luck and fills his pockets with 
banknotes. When he leaves England that night 
by mail steamer his career as a war correspondent really 
hasb^un. 

Sir John Robinson also tells the story in his remin- 
iscences. Long before his vigilant eye had noted an 
article in a small magazine writtoi by a man whose 
name he took pains to ascertain. When Forbes's 
name came in that day at the office he knew his man 
and struck his hands together with pleasure. He saw 



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ARCHIBALD FORBES 



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ARCHIBALD FORBES 73 

that the man whom later he called "the wonderful 
Forbes" was "not in the best of tempers," but when 
the errand was stated he "could scarcely conceal his 
excitement and anticipation." But the editor's mem- 
ory differed from that of Forbes as to one or two 
particulars. Sir John in his book thinks that a room 
was assigned for Forbes in tlie newspaper plant and 
that a steak was sent in to him; also that the reports 
did not bolt into the street, but that they had it out in 
the editorial offices. However, while in their printed 
tales they differ in these respects, they agree in the 
essential facts that a windfall of fortune gave Forbes 
to the Daily News and that the Dcaly News very 
nearly lost him over a petty misunderstanding. In 
later years Forbes made this comment upon the engage- 
ment he made that day to serve the Daily News at 
£20 a week: 

"It is possible that had X declined I might have been 
a hiq>pier man today. I might have bees a baler man than 
I am at forty-five, my nerve gone, and my physical energy 
but s memoiy. Yet the recompense! To have lived t^ 
Hves in as many short years; to have held once and agun 
in the hollow of my hand the exclusive power to thrill the 
nations; to have looked into the very heart of the tuniing- 
points of nations and of dynasties! What joy equal to the 
th tnlUng sense of personal force, as obstacle after obstacle 
fell behind one conquered, as one galloped from the battle- 
field with tidings which people awaited hungeringly or 
tremblingly!" 

How did Forbes come to be possessed of information 
and of powers of rapid narration that made him on 
twenty-four hours' notice a war reporter for a paper 
of great prestige whose war news was the talk of the 
town? It was rather by what seemed a chance com- 
bination of circumstances than by deliberate mold- 



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74 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

ing of events to a predetermined purpose. He had 
been something of a drifter, somewhat reckless of 
consequmces, and a bit impatient of the methodical 
organizing of life. 

He was one of the men who thrust poverty upon 
themselves. His father was a Presbyterian dergyman 
in the north of Scotluid. At Aberdeen the boy 
excelled in the classics, but his dislike of mathematics 
was so great that in hiter years one of the professors 
would not consent to the bestowal of an honorary 
Doctor of Laws upon him because he had been 
"ploughed" in his mathematical examinations. When 
his father died, leaving but httle mon^ and nine 
children, Forbes went to Edinburgh, where he spent 
all his funds before he chose a profession. And idien 
iq>on his majority in 1859 £2500 fell to him he went 
to Canada where a love affair in Quebec is said to have 
made havoc of his good intentions, so that with but 
eight shillings in his pocket he shipped as a sailor for 
Liverpool. The sale of a field glass got him the money 
to go on to London, and there he enlisted in the Royal 
Dragoons, moved by a lecture of \^liam Howard 
Russell's, and by the description of the charge of the 
light Brigade which that reporter of wars had written. 

Soon he came to realize that wild and desperate 
charges are made but seldom and that the life in 
barracks fumiahea but httle copy for the papers. As 
an educated man he became the school-teacher for his 
company and the acting quarter-mastra sergeant, an 
appointment due to his ability to solve the following 
terrific problem: "If one man is allowed the thirty- 
seventh part of an ounce of pepper per day, what is the 
amount to be drawn for two hundred men p^ week?" 
Several articles, writt^i in the din and turmoil of the 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



ARCHIBAXD FORBES 75 

barrack room, appeared in tlie periodicals. It was one of 
these that drew the attention of Sir John Robinson. 
After fire years Forbes's health broke down, and then 
after many months in an army hospital he audaciously 
started the London Scotmian, of which he was the sole 
proprietor and the entire staff. He even leitsed two 
hours a day of the time of a veteran of the Indian 
. Mutiny and on this basis wrote a novel which Sir 
H^uy Havelock declared must have been written by 
a deserter, so complete was its local color. 

The battle scenes of this tale procured for the 
author his first commission as a war correspondent. 
A considerable amount of casual work had bran given 
him by James Grant of the Morning Advertiser, and on 
the day in 1870 that France declared war > against 
Germany Mr. Grant said to him: "I've conduded to 
offer you a position as war correspond^it. Choose 
whichever side you prefer." Said Forbes in later 
years: 

"Far off, as a child might sigh for the moon, this work 
had been the dream of my life, ever since I had come to 
realise I could write matter that men would print and tbat 
other men would read. It had never been more than a 
dream. ... I grasped Grant's hand in a rapture of gratitude; 
I stipulated for no remuneration save that he should pay a 
modest subsidy for the maintenance of those I was leaving 
behind. I took £I0 for outfit and £20 in my pocket as 
cami>aigning expenses; bou^t a knapsack and note-book, 
and started by the mail train (second class) the same night. " 

Forbes had studied Grerman tactics; he knew 
something of the Gennan language, and he was con- 
fident the Germans would win. He went at once to 
Saarbrtlck where he witnessed the "baptism of fire" 
on August 2. 

Experienced correspondents would have told him 



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76 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

muiy things about credentiala, what the Germans 
c^led " le^timation, " the necessary permits to go along 
with the armies in the field. The veterans in the 
profession were waiting outside office doors for their 
papers, while Forbes, with the audacity of ignorance, 
called upon General von Goeben on the way through 
Coblentz to the front, and got a scrap of paper by 
virtue of which he saw about all there was to see up to 
Gravelotte. And when after Gravelotte he got the 
voucher known as the "Great Headquarters Pass," 
signed by the grand-quartermaster-general of King 
Wilhelm's staff, he got it not by influence or intrigue, 
but by the most direct methods. He simply called 
at the proper bureau, left the Von Goeben credaitial, 
came back in an hour, and found the impressive- 
looking and precious "Intimation" awaiting him. 
I Luck seemed to befriend him throughout the 
j campaign; indeed, no war correspondent ever was 
luckier than Archibald Forbes. He had the knack 
of turning up at the right time in the right place. He 
was a raw recruit, but he was daring and resourc^ul. 
Also he had the valuable faculty of making friends. 
With Jacob de Liefde of the Glasgow Herald he made 
his way as a reckless pedestrian "into the very heart of 
everything that was most sensational in those sensa- 
tions! days.'* 

He sent his paper from the first good stirring 
pictures of events. Men were delighted with his 
accounts of the battles of Courcelles, Vionville, and 
Gravelotte. As an exunple, this is what they read 
of the climax of the last-named struggle. It is a 
famous passage: 

" The long summer d^ was waning into duak, and the 
fortmies of the battle still trembled in the balance, when 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



ARCHIBALD FORBES 77 

the last reserve of the Germans came hunying forward to 
the brink of the abyss. In the lurid gUire of the blazing 
viUage the German King stood by the wayside and greeted 
his stalwart Pomeranians as they passed him. High over 
the roll of the drmns, the blare of the bugles, and the crash ot 
the camK>n rose the eager burst of cheering, as the soldiers 
answered their sovereign's greeting, and then followed 
ihar leaders down into the fell deptha of the terrible chasm. 
The strain of the crisis was sickening as we waited for the 
issue, in a sort of spann of sombre silence. 

"The old King sat, with his back against a wall, on a 
ladder, one end of which rested on a broken gun-carriage, 
the other on a dead horse. Bisnuuck, with an elaborate 
aasumptioa of coolneas which his restlessness belied, made 
pretence to be reading letters. The roll of the close battle 
swelled and deepened till the very ground trembled beneath 
us. The night tell like a pall, but the blaze of the adjacent 
conflagration lit up the anxious group here by the church- 
yard wall. 

"The hoofs of a galloping horse rattled on the cause- 
wqy. A moment later Moltke, his face for once quivering 
with emotion, sprang from the saddle, and, running towards 
the King, cried out, 'It is good for us; we have carried the 
position, and the victory is with your Majesty!' The King 
started to his feet with a fervent 'God be thanked !* and then 
burst into tears. Bismarck, with a great sigh of relief, 
crushed his letters in the hollow of his h&nd ; and a simultane- 
ous hurrah welcomed the good tidings." 

For a while the news man drifted about but he got in 
touch with the army again in time for Sedan. Quite 
by chance on the morning of September 12 he heard 
where fighting was going on in the valley of the Meuse, 
and, mounted by this time, he rode forward with his 
Dutch comrade, and reached a point commanding a 
view of the scene, just in time to see the last of the 
series of cavalry charges by the French Chassems 
d'Afrique. Later in the day Forbes made the acquaint- 
ance of the American General Sheridan. Forbes tells 



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78 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

how Sheridan noted the repulse of the cuirassiers as 
they charged headlong down the slope of IIly> closed 
his glass, and said quietly, "It's all over with the 
French now," and how the members of Wilhelm's 
staff shook his hand for that word. 

Next morning there befell the adventurous writer 
of fortune the most amazing of all his strokes of luck. 
Before the clock struck six he had a glimpae of Bismarck 
in a blue military cloak imd the undress of a cuirassier 
raiment, mounted on a powerful bay horse and riding 
across country. 

'Where Bismarck went there was sure to be news, 
so Forbes followed. Soon appeared a shabby open 
carriage without escort containing four French oflScers. 
Yet, one of the four Forbes instantly recognized, his 
face "impassive and sphinxlike as ever, but with ita 
lines drawn and deqiened as if by some spasm." It 
was Louis Napoleon, the Emper<^ of the French. 
Thus it came about that with Jacob de liefde Forbes 
was the only civilian who saw the surrender of the 
French Emperor and the interview with Bismardc at 
the weaver's cottage. 

It was Nappleon who suggested that the stop be 
nkade at the cottage. "I saw him turn round in his 
seat and heard the request he made to Bismarck, that 
he be allowed to wait in the cottage until he should have 
an interview with the King," says Forbes. Watch 
in hand Forbes made notes of the incidents of that 
interview: 

"Two chairs were brought out in front erf the cottage 
by the weaver living on the ground floor; the two men sat 
down facing the road . . . and the out-^loor conversation 
which lasted nearly an hour b^an. Bismarck had covered 
himself in compliance with a gesture and a bow from the 



DigiUrrlbyGOOglC 



ARCHIBALD FORBES 79 

Emptor. As they sat, the latter occasionally smiled faintly 
and made a remark, but plunly Bismarclc was doing 
most of the talking, and that, too, energetically. From 
my portion I could just hear the rough murmur of Bis- 
marck's voice when he occasionally raised it; and then he 
would strengthen th« emphasis by the gesture of bringing 
a finger of the left hand down on the palm of the righL The 
ahabby-bearded weaver . . . was all the while overiookisg 
the pair from a front window. After they had parted I asked 
the man what he had overheard. 'Nothing,' said he. 
They spoke in German of which I know but few words.' " 

When Bismarck rode away the news gatherer 
watched Ns^leon HL saunter up and down the cottage 
potato plot, limping slightly and smoking hard. He 
saw the Prussian cuirassiers arrive, and he noticed how 
the Emperor's face fluffed for the first time when two 
of them took their places with drawn swords behmd 
his chair. He saw Bismarck return in full uniform 
accompanied by Moltke, to inform Napoleon that 
Wilhdm acc^ted the proposed terms of capitulation 
but that he could not see the French Emperor until 
they had beoi acc^ted by the latter. And he saw the 
French monarch enter the carriage and drive slowly 
to meet the conquering German. He saw their greeting, 
but the interview within the chateau was shared by 
none. 

Yet, with aU his luck and his ability to make "good 
copy," this was not the Forbes of Ulundi or of the 
daring Balkan rides, nor even the Forbes who scored 
so regularly a few months later before Paris. He had 
not yet learned, or rather helped to invent, war corre- 
spondence in the modem sense of the term. If he had 
had at his comnumd in th(»e early days the resources 
that later he used he might have scored such a series 
of "scoops" as would have made every city in the 



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80 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

world ring with his name. But he had no money for 
couriers or tel^raph tolls. Letters were posted with 
a sort of vague notion that somehow they would get 
to London. He was still a sort of journalistic tramp, 
promenading about with hia baggage on his back 
much of the time and a tiny bunch of coins in his 
pockets. 

After Sedan the German armies deployed into the 
grand line for the advance on Paris and there came to 
Forbes a letter which paralyzed him, an order to come 
home. His editor actually expected the Paris corre- 
spondent of the paper to report the si^e. On the third 
day after he had seen the receding dome of the Luxem- 
bourg Forbes stood forlorn and disconsolate in Fleet 
Street tossing coppers. He had been gone just six 
weeks. 

As already related he was back with the army in a 
very few days, this time as the correspondent for the 
Daily News, with an abundance of money and the 
most unrestricted orders to be enterprising. He pro- 
ceeded to be enterprising; he did new things constantly. 
For wedcs he lived on f oreposts within easy range of the 
French (»nnon at Metz. He was "at home" with a 
regiment of Prussian infantry, sleeping on straw in a 
comer of a chateau drawing room. like the war horse 
he sniffed battles from afar. He was the only spectator 
of the fight of Mezieres-les-Metz, but still he could 
send only a half-column over the wire to London. He 
got a flesh wound in the leg and suffered from fever. 
Ent^ng Metz even before the capitulation, he joined 
in an informal fashion the sanitary volunteers. Gan- 
grene attacked his leg and had to be burnt out with 
acids, but he carried a vinegar sponge in his mouth and 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



ARCHIBALD FORBES 81 

managed to keep going. Finally he had to go to 
England lest amputation become necessary. 

Now he let slip a great opportmiiiy. He saw the 
surrender of Metz and watched Bazaine drive away 
from the railway station. All night he wrote in his 
room but he did not hurry over the forty-five miles to 
Saarbrtick. It was then that the German-American, 
HhAlller, carried to London the despatch, long ascribed 
to Forbes, which indicated to Forbes and the others 
what they might have been doing all the time, and 
from then on the pace and the competition quickened. 

During his brief stay in London, his chief, Robin- 
son, said to Forbes: "As a fellow-man I say you ought 
to lay up for six months; as a newspaper manager I 
wish you would start for the siege of Paris tonight. '* 
He started and his leg got well. Adventures in great 
variety befell him during the months of the siege. He 
b^an to display his remarkable ability as an oi^anizer. 
The Germans were bewildered by the unaccountable 
speed with which his letters appeared in London. 

So short was the interval between the time of 
events described and the time of the DaUy News 
r^Mrts that one rival, concluding Forbes had tele- 
graphic facilities denied to the others, made formal 
complaint. The Chief of Staff of the Crown Prince 
of Saxony informed Forbes of his rival's dissatisfaction 
and under promise of secrecy Forbes disclosed his 
method to the staff officer. Soon after at a dinner 
an officer accused the correspondent of post-dating 
his letters and thus faking theur freshness. Forbes 
made his usual laughing reply that he carried his 
own private wire about with him, and placed a 
bet then and there that if a piece of information was 
communicated to him it would appear in the Daily 



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83 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

News the second morning after. The officer told Mm 
of a movement of the troops and at once left the room. 
When Forbes visited the military telegraphic head- 
quarters he found hia guess of the errand of the officer 
verified; the operator grinned and said, "No, I am 
ordered to tdie no message from you." Nevertheless 
after a few days Forbes handed the officer a copy of 
his paper of the date stipulated in the bet and con- 
taining the item upon which the bet was based, where- 
upon the officer stared and paid over the stake. 

The mystery was explained by Forbes himself in 
these terms: 

""iSy secret was so simple that I am ashamed to ^^>lain 
it, yet with one ezoeplion I had it to mysdf for months. 
When before Metz I had done my tel^r^hing from Saar- 
brtlck, depositing a smn in the hands of the telegraph master 
and forwarding messages to him from the front against the 
deposit. Before leaving the frontier region I learned that a 
trmn started in the small hom« of the morning from the 
rear of the German cordon on the east side of Paris and 
reached Saarbriick in about fifteen hours. The tel^rsph- 
master would receive a letter by this train soon enough to 
wire its contents to England in time for pubhcation in the 
London paper of the morning following. I put a consider- 
able sum into his hands to meet the charge of messages reach- 
ing him, and arranged with a local banker to keep my credit 
balance with the telegraph-master always up to a certain 
figure. Eveiy evening a field-post wagon started from the 
Crown Prince of Saxony's headquarters on the north side 
of Paris, picked up mails at the militaiy post-offices along 
its route, and reached the railroad terminus at Lagny in 
time to connect with the early morning poet-train for the 
frontier. At whatever point iA my section of the environ- 
ment of Paris I might find myself, a militaiy post-office 
served by this post-wagon was within reasonable distance, 
and my letter, addressed to the SaarbrUck tel^raph-master 
went jogging toward the frontier once every twenty-four 
hours, with a fair certainty of its contents bdng in Enghuid 



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ARCHIBALD FORBES 83 

within tweniy-four hours or thereabouts of the time of ita 
bang posted." 

Almost thirty years after the war Forbes wrote 
his rival and friend "Billy" Russell of the prearrange^ 
ments by which a noted "scoop" was "pulled off." 
He sent on in advance complete details of the arrange- 
ments for the St. Denis bombardment On the 
morning that it began the Crown Prince stood on the 
steps of his chateau, and Forbes in the door of the 
house in the grounds used as a telegraph office. As 
the first gun was heard the Prince raised his hand. 
Forbes instantly shouted to the operator inside, **Go 
ahead!" Those two words alone were wired, but full 
details of the positions of the batteries and the com- 
plements of artillery appeared in the noon edition of 
the Daily News that same day. The matter, of course, 
was already in type, but carefully locked away untH 
the word came. 

Now for the stoiy of two of Forbes's great feats. 
Through the winter of the siege of Paris he remained 
at the headquarters of the Crown I^rince of Saxony 
in a small village due north of the beleaguered city. 
There was kingly pomp at Versailles. The village 
picture was drab in contrast but it had the atmosphere 
of war. Forbes rode about the lines of investment and 
saw the depopulation of the environs of the city. 
During the great sortie he watched with alert eyes. He 
saw the thirty civilians who had come to offer King 
Wilhelm the German crown. Christmas passed, the 
bombardm^it piled the walls of St. Denis in ruins, and 
at last on the evening of January 28, while the head- 
quarters staff were assembled in the drawing-room of 
the chateau of the Crown Prince, an orderly brought 
in a tel^pram from the Emperor. It annotmced that 



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84 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

two hours brfore Count Bismarck and M. Jules Favre 
had set their hands to a convention in terms of which 
an armistice to last twenly-one hours already had come 
into effect. 

The correspondents nerved themselves to a desper- 
ate venture. The capitulation was imminent. The 
reporters watched each other suspiciously. How to 
get into Paris; how to be the very first to enter the 
city; how to get out of the city with the news, and how 
to get the news to their papers — these were their 
problems. The world was on tiptoe for tidings from 
the inside of the plight of Paris. The balloon post 
and the carrier pigeons had come far short of telling the 
world the details of the awful experiences of the 
besi^ed city. 

Henry Labouchere told how Forbes startled them, 
"quite as much as Friday did Robinson Crusoe," 
when he suddenly appeared from without the walls. 
They welcomed him with enthusiasm, "for he had 
En^ish napoleons in one pocket and some slices of 
ham in anotha*." 

EUs German friends shook their heads and took 
pathetic leave of him when he announced his intention 
to try for Paris. There were fifty correspondents 
waiting on the Versailles side to enter the city. Forbes 
planned to get in by the north through St. Denis. He 
was dressed so as to be readily mistaken for one of the 
bated Germans as he cantered along a road crowded 
with Frenchmen. He came to the Porte de la Chapelle 
and found a closed gate and the drawbridge up. No- 
body knew when the gate would open; he waited a 
half-hour in a big crowd, and moved on to the next 
gate where be found gendarmes examining passes. 
Said Forbes: "I rode on slowly, looking strai^t 



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ARCHIBALD FORBES 85 

between my horse's ears, and somehow nobody stopped 
roe." Just inside he had a narrow escape, A train 
on the Cincture Railway came puffing along, just as 
an officer started forward to halt him. He encouraged 
his horse to indulge in capers. The officer clearly 
liked a good horse, and ere he forgot his admiration 
of the animal and remembered his duty of intercep- 
tion, Forbes was over the bridge. He was inside, and 
inside he remained for eighte^i hours. 

His hurried investigation of the misery and the 
heroism of Paris gave the world one of the most 
thrilling stories a daUy newspaper ever printed. In 
his long despatch he said: 

"There Deeded no acuteness to discern to what a plight 
of hungry misery she had been reduced before she had 
brought herself to endure the humiliation of surrender. 
That night she was alone with her grief and her hunger; not 
until the morrow came the relief and consolation which the 
sympathy of Britain so promptly forwarded to the capital 
(rf the ally with whom ^e had endured the hardships and 
earned the successes of the Crimean War. Wan, starved 
citizens crept by on the unlit boulevards, before and since 
the parade of luxury and sleek afBuence. No cafes invited 
the promenader with brilliant splendour of illmnination and 
garish lavishness of decoration, for there were no promenaders 
to entice, no fuel to furnish gas, no dainty viands wherewith 
to trick out the plateglass windows. 

"The gaiety, the profusion, and the sinfuhiess of the 
Paris which one had known in the Second Empire Di^s had 
given place to quiet, uncomplfuning dejection, to utter 
depletion, to a decorum at once beautiful, startling and sad. 
The hotels were all hospitak. The Red Cross flag floated 
from almost eveiy house . . . bandaged cripples limped 
along the streets, and the only traffic was furnished by the 
mterminabte procession of funerals. 

"I had brought in, stowed in a wallet on my back, 
some five pounds of ham. The servants of the place where 



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86 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

I stayed put the meat on a dish -with a cover over it, and 
shoved it up and down the B.ue du Faubourg St. HoncRt 
aa a curiom^, charging a sou for lifting the cover." 

His story in hand Forbes faced his nest problem — 
to get out of the city and reach the end of a wire. 
People told him he must have hia passport via&d at the 
Embassy, then get a permit from the Prefecture of 
Police, and finally undertake the passing of all the 
Prussian lines. He got the Yis6d passport, and left 
the rest to luck. At the Vincennes Gate he looked 
innoc^itly about him and bc^ui to Trhistle as he 
met a cordon of soldiers, and the instant he was out- 
side he broke into a full trot through the suburbs. 
Ever lucky, he met at the forepost line an o£Scer whom 
he knew, and he was passed through in spite of the 
orders to turn back all who came from Paris. The way 
was clear. Now for the ride of twenty miles to catch 
the train at Lagny for the frontier. 

The ride almost cost the life of his horse. He 
found the roads in bad order, long neglected as they 
had been, and much scored by the trenches of both 
armies. One shoe after another was torn from the 
hoofs of the laboring animal. He was dead beat wh^i 
Forbes galloped to the station barely in time to con- 
sign him to the care of a German cavalryman and 
swing aboard the train. He was trusting no post 
SOTvice for this coup. 

The following morning about two he was across 
France and in Carlsruhe where he knew there was an 
all-night tel^raph office. For eight hours he re- 
mained there, supervising the work of the giris who 
had the night shift. The instant the message was gone 
he went aboard the train again, and forty hours after 
he had left Paris he was back in the city. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



ARCHIBALD FORBES 87 

Two correspondents who had just managed to 
wri^le into the capital from Versailles chaffed him 
considerably, but a few days later when he saw them 
absorbed in a copy of the DaUy Neva they had nothing 
to say. 

He scored again, although beaten a few hours by 
Russell, when the Grerman troops made their formal 
entiy into the city on March 1, 1871. The Times 
special saw the Longchamp review and then left by 
chartered train for Calais. But Forbes was not 
beaten very badly. His story was in the second edition 
of the Daily News, selling on the streets at eight that 
morning. For years people insisted that Forbes stole 
a ride, disguised as a fireman, on The Times special 
train. Far more severe was the strain to which he was 
subjected, for the Daily News had no influence with 
the Directorate for a special. Forbes did without 
such facilities. 

He witnessed the review at Longchamp and in the 
Champ Elysees he was addressed by the Crown Prince 
of Saxony at the head of his staff. The incident was 
noticed and a party of Frenchmen attacked him the 
instant he left the protection of the Grerman troops. 
The police rescued him at the point of the bayonet. 
But half of his greatcoat was torn from him and 
along with it had gone his notebook. That meant 
the loss of two columns of copy. In a twinkling the 
tragedy became comedy. Luck once more. Into 
the police station rushed a citizen with the missing note- 
book, calling loudly that here was the evidence that 
the reporter was a spy. Says Forbes: "His face was 
a study when in my gladness I offered him a reweird." 

A ma^strate examined his credentials and liberated 
him. While in the home of the magistrate's sister 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



88 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

washing away the atains of the mob's roughness, the 
throngs raged outside. The sister led him to a quiet 
side alley. Forbes repaid her on the spot for her 
goodness. Her brother was entitled to a good salary, 
but for six months not a franc has been paid and they 
were almost starving. Forbes was an accredited sub- 
a]mon«> and was able in a few minutes to have a 
hamper of food placed at the disposal of these friends 
in need. 

It was now high time to be off for England. He had 
waiting a dog-cart with a stout horse. The ride throu^ 
the city was not very safe but he reached the St. Denis 
gate, and once outside he lashed the animal and 
covered the twelve miles to Margeacy at good speed. 
Thence he was permitted for once to wire a fairly long 
message to London. 

But this was not enough; he was going on himself, 
so he hurried back to St. Denis and caught the r^ular 
Calais train. Every moment of the journey he 
wrote at feverish speed. In the early morning he was 
in the English capital. When the DaUy News special 
edition was out, and the boys were crying it on the 
streets, the weary correspondent went into the room 
of the editor-in-chief to sleep. 

Some hours later he woke to find the manager and 
his staff standing over him and considerably concerned 
as to his condition. He was stretdied on the floor with 
the bulky London Directory under his head for a pil- 
low. His clothing still bore the marks of his scuffle 
with the Paris mob. Nevertheless he started back that 
same evening. 

The final exploit of that period was achieved at 
the close of the Commime. France had been at war 
with her own capital, and the second siege of the city 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



ARCHIBALD FORBES 89 

was twofold more terrible than the first. Forbes was 
hard at work in London on his first book. His con- 
tract with his publishers and his desire to see his story 
in permanent form enabled him for two months to 
hold out against the importunities of the manager of 
the Daiiy News. At last on the afternoon of May 
19, 1871, by writing and revising ten and twelve hours 
a day, Forbes finished his book, and that same eve- 
ning he was a passenger in the Continental Mail for 
Paris. 

When he undertook to enter the devoted city he was 
twice turned back. Foreigners were supposed to be 
directing the Commune's defense, so no more foreigners 
should enter Paris. The gendarmes and the commissaries 
of police made no difference in the case of a newspaper 
man. Forbes spent a night in a hay-loft near St. 
Denis, and on the morning of May 21 he took the 
wagon road and walked into Paris without hindrance. 
What was probably the last permit issued to a corre- 
spondent to go everywhere and see everything was 
given to him. Now he did his work under far worse 
conditions than those of battle. The Commune was 
almost crushed by the army under MacMahon. All 
was uncertamty and turmoU. Bullets came from 
rear, front and flanks. Time-fuse shells veta bursting 
in white pufiFs all over the city. Intricate barricades 
blocked the streets. The permit after all was of 
slight use. 

The horse which he had left comfortably stabled 
when the armistice b^an had been requisitioned by 
the Parisians. From the stable Forbes went to the 
War Ministry of the Commune, where he found the 
famous Dombrowski, the last of the many gexieral- 
issimos, who had been in command for about a day and 



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90 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

a half. Shells were dropping in the street and striking 
the house itself. The press man mounted to the 
observatory on the roof and at once came mider fire. 
Messengers were hurrying to the commander asking 
for help for various points in the city, and Dombrow- 
ski left the chateau on a charger with Forbes tramping 
at his heels. As he watched the rushes and stampedes 
of the almost hand-to-hand fighting the adventuroiis 
Englishman lost sight of the generalissimo, and soon 
after heard that Dombrowaki had been killed. 

Almost wandering about the city Forbes realized 
that the supreme hour had come at last. Clearly the 
Commune was dying, but dying hard, "with dripping 
fangs and every blood-claw protruded." At mid- 
night the correspondent heard shouts: **We are sur- 
rounded. The Versaillists are pouring into the city." 
A panic began. Arms were thrown aside, soldiers 
and many officers ran at top speed. Sometimes men 
fired away indiscriminately and clubbed their guns 
at one another. At one time that night, in the general 
distraction and through his ignorance of that part 
of Paris, Forbes had no notion of where he was or 
whither the stream of fugitives was bearing him. 
The first flicker of the dawn found him on the FIac« 
du Roi de Rome, alone in a dense fog. He went to the 
Champs Elysees and ran the gauntlet of the field bat- 
tery which was sweeping the street. 

By devious paths Forbes made his way to the 
Palais Royal. Here barricades were being constructed 
of mattresses, furniture, cabs and omnibuses. A soldier 
ordered Forbes to go to work or to stand up and be 
shot. He rectified the omission of an embrasure in the 
barricade, his work was approved, and he was allowed 
to depart. At the Boulevard Haussmann he found 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



ABCHIBALD FORBES 91 

crowds of Communists on each side of the street and 
the Versaillists in position a thousand yards away 
raining rifle bullets down the open space between the 
crowds, llie Englishman ran across. A bullet passed 
through his coat-tail and perforated a tobacco pouch 
in the pocket. He purchased breakfast and wrote 
for two hours. Then as he headed for the Gare du 
Nord a bullet pierced his hat and a shell splinter 
whizzed by closely enough to blow aside his beard. 
The railway employee whom he hired to walk through 
the railway tunnel with a letter to deliver to a friend 
in St Denis for forwarding, departed whistling cheer- 
fully, but Forbes never saw or heard of him again. 

Returning, Forbes watched from safe doorways the 
stretchers being carried to the hospitals at the rate 
<rf one a minute. Frederic Villiers tells how, many 
years after the French Republic was established, he 
was seated in a cafe in Paris when an Englishman 
whom he chanced to meet told him how Forbes had 
saved his life during these perilous hours of the end of 
the Commune. At this time occurred the adventure 
which a recent writer upon the history of the news- 
paper declares "must stand on the summit of all the 
hairbreadth dangers of a correspondent. " Forbes 
himself described the situation thus: 

" When I reached the Place, in the center of which stands 
the Church of Notre Dame de Lorette, I found myself 
inside an extraordinaiy triangle of barricades. There was 
a barricade across the end of the Rue SL Lazare, another 
across the end of the Rue Lorette, and a third between the 
Church and in front of the Place looking into the Rue Chai- 
eauduD. The peculiarity of the arrangement consisted in 
this, that each of these barricades could be either enfiladed 
or taken in reverse by fire directed against the others, so 
that the defenders were exposing themselves to fire fmn 
flank and rear, as well as from front. " 



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9« FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

Up came the officer m command, and ordered 
Forbes to pick up the musket of a man who had just 
been killed, and aid in the defense of the barricades. 
The correspondent refused, affirming himself a foreigner 
and a neutral. The officer instantly ordered that he 
make his option between obedience and execution. 
The press man laughed, having no idea that the soldier 
was serious. But the officer merely called to four c^ 
his command, Forbes was stood up against the church 
wall, and the four paced off the distance and con- 
stituted themselves a firing party. Just in the nick 
of time a rush of the Versaillists over the Rue St. 
Lazare barricade took place. The defenders pre- 
cipitately evacuated the triangle, and the firing party 
went with them. 

But the r^ulars in a twinkling seized Forbes, 
who had been glad indeed to get away from the Com- 
munards. The weapon was in his hands. Clearly 
he was one of the defenders of the barricade. The 
bewildered correspondent was again stuck up against 
the church wall. He had escaped shooting at the 
hands of the Communards apparently only to be shot 
by the Versaillists. He protested with all his might. 
The "people in the red breeches" were about to end 
his career when he saw a superior officer and appealed 
to him. The officer inspected his thumbs and fore- 
fingers. They were clean. The chassepot then in 
use always threw a spit of black powder on the hand 
from the breech for every shot fired. These stains 
were the brand of the Communard. Forbes was 
free. But had he fired one shot to save his life on the 
first occasion he would have lost his life on the second! 

Not a scrap of news had Forbes or any of his com- 
petitors been able to get out of Paris. They were 



n,g,t7„ib,.G00gIc 



ARCHIBALD FORBES 93 

on duty at the death of the Commune, but their 
professional purposes were unattaiued. They weK 
sick with emxiety. Several tried to leave the city. 
One was denounced aa a spy and narrowly miased 
being shot. Forbes saw the Tuileries burning. The 
Louvre was in danger. Then he devised a scheme 
which worked. Lord Lyons had gone to Versailles. 
To the Second Secretary, England's representative 
in Paris, went Forbes asking for something to carry 
to Versailles. Warned that two messengers had been 
fired upon and turned back, he insisted, and was 
furnished with a big official envelope addressed to 
"Her Majesty, the Queen of England." 

As he went on his way his half-starved horse f^ 
and the correspondent's ankle was dislocated. Soldiers 
dragged him into a cabaret. He paid for wine, and 
was lifted to the saddle and allowed to proceed. But 
at the gate he was stopped by a colonel who would 
recognize nothing but a permit from Marshal Mao- 
Mahon. The colonel was sent away presently and 
Forbes addressed himself to a major who wore the 
Crimean medal. The wily press man dwelt upon the 
comradeship of the English and French troops in the 
trenches before Sebastopol. The old soldio: looked 
about cautiously. He listened to the plea of the 
courier of the Queen whose decoration he wore. With- 
out speaking a word he pointed over his shoulder 
and Forbes was off through the gate and soon in a 
carriage for Versailles. Diplomatic Forbes! 

The despatches were duly handed to the First 
Secretary and Forbes bolted a morsel of food. Then 
he was away, on wheeb, of course, by a circuitous 
route to St. Denis and the railway. All the way to 
London he worked hard in train and boat. On the 



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M FAMOUS WAH CORRESPONDENTS 

early morning of Thursday, May 25, he arrived with his 
big budget of thrilling news. N^:t day he was bade 
in Paris, but all virtually was ov». After one week of 
fitting MacMahon was master of the city. 

The next great war to which Archibald Forbes wait 
for his paper was the Russo-Turkish conflict of 1877, 
although in the meantime he was not idle. In 1874 
he spent eight months in the Tirhoot district in Bengal 
in the famine times and came home invalided by 
sunstroke. Then he followed Prince Alfonso from 
Madrid to Navarre in pursuit of the Carlists, making 
in all three campaigns in the Peninsula. Once mwe 
India called him; he went there with the Prince of 
Wales in 1875. Next the Balkans. 

But the first season in southeastern Europe was 
^ven, not to the tremendous struggle of 1877 and 
1878, but to the Servian campaign of 1876. The 
world was not greatly interested in that little war, but. 
comparatively unimportant as the fighting was, it 
gave Forbes the opportunity to achieve one of his most 
remarkable feats of enterprise and endurance 

Servia was making war against her Turkish suze- 
rain. For three months at Deligrad, one hundred and 
forty miles from Belgrade, General Tcfaemaieff, with 
his Russian volunteers and rough Servian levies, 
faced the Turkish army of Abdid !^mm Pasha. The 
life of the correspondent with the Servians was almost 
comically squalid. The headquarters was a ruined 
school-house. The staff lived in holes dug out of 
the ground and thatched over with reeds. The news 
men lay on the groimd about a great fire which 
occasionally burned the roof over their heads. Fred- 
eric Villiers. the artist-correspondent, also was at the 



DigiUrrlbyGOOglC 



ARCHIBALD FORBES 95 

front, and he has left an amiising portrait of the 
Forbes whom he then met for the first time. "Begin- 
ning to sketch s motley group of men in Turkish 
trousers, zouave jackets profusely braided, with yat- 
aghans and knives stuck in the capacious pockets 
of their belts, I saw a figure towering above the crowd 
of men and women on the sidewalk," says Villiers. 
"The individual wore a Tarn O'Shantcr cap, had a 
briar-root pipe in his mouth and sauntered firmly 
through the crowd of peasantry, always steadily keep- 
ing his course. The people seemed instinctively to 
make way for him, and though his stature and suit of 
quiet Scotch tweed made him a conspicuous figure 
standing boldly out from the gaudy and buccaneer- 
like persons around, he was not looked upon by the 
peasantry with any surprise. They all appeared to 
have been familiar with him for years. To me he 
was the oddest, out-of-the-way looking individual 
in that market-place. 'Why, he must be Forbes,* 
I said to myself." And Villiers presented his letter 
of introduction, and forthwith their friendship began. 

The final conflict of the war lasted several hours. 
The Servians behaved none too well and were badly 
beaten. At the close Forbes rode through the belt of 
Turkish skirmishers to escape being cut off. Servia 
was at the meaxy of the Turks. Let the correspondent 
idate the story of his coup in his own graphic style: 

"At five in the afternoon, when I rode away from the 
blazing huts of Ddigrad, more than 140 miles lay between 
me and my point, the telegraph office at Semlin, the Hunga- 
rian town on the other side of the Save from Belgrade. I 
had an order for post-horses along the road, and galloped 
hard for Faratchin, the nearest post-station. When I 
got there the postmaster faad horses, but no vehicle. . . . 
The Servian post-nags were not saddle-horses, but ahaip 



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96 FAMOUS WAIl CORRESPONDENTS 

spurs and the handling of an old dragoon might be relied on 
to make them travd somehow. All night long I lode that 
weary ioumey, changing horses every fifteen miles, and 
forcing the vile brutes along at the best of their speed. 
Soon after noon of the following day, sore from head to foot, 
I was clattering over the stone of the Belgrade m^ street. 
The field telegraph wires had conveyed but a curt, frag- 
m^itary intimation of disaster; and all Belgrade, feverish 
for further news, rushed out into the street as I powdered 
along. 

" But I had ridden hard all night not to gossip in Belgrade 
but to get to the Semlin telegraph wire, and I never drew 
rein until I reached the ferry. At Semlin, one long drink 
ot beer, and then to the task of writing hour after hour 
against time the tidings which I carried down country. 
After I had written my story and put it on the wires, I lay 
down in my clothes and slept twenty hours without so inu<^ 
as turning. . . I had seen a battle that lasted six hours, 
ridden 140 miles, and written to the DaUy News a tele- 
graphic message tour columns long — all in the space ot 
thirty hours. " 

When the conflict between Russia and Turkey 

summoned Forbes war correspondence was coming 
to its golden prime. Editors, publishers and news 
gatherers were straining every nerve and inventing all 
manner of devices to get the news and to be first at the 
tele^aph key. Both in the Old World and the New 
the great dailies resolved to put forth their utmost 
powers of organization for the speedy transmission of 
tidings. And the men at the front were accorded 
facilities which rarely have been granted since. There 
was to be no field censorship; correspondents were 
put on honor "not to reveal impending movements, 
concenbations and intentions. " Otherwise they were 
permitted to write and send what they .chose, but 
each had to send a file of his paper to headquarters. 



D,g,t7„lbvGOOgIC 



ARCHIBALD FORBES 97 

"and a polyglot <^cer was appointed to read all 
those newspapers and to be down upon the reporters 
if they transgressed what he considered fair comment. " 
They then were warned, and in case of grave offense 
they were expelled. Each correspondent was numbered, 
and in addition at the outset they carried big brass 
badges on their arms. But the French notion <rf the 
fitness ai things could not stand this method of 
designation, "so at the instance of the correspondents 
of that nationality there was instituted a more dainty 
style of brassard, with the double-headed eagle in silver 
lace on a yellow silk background." Each man's 
permit was written on the' back ci his photograph and 
the great seal of the headquarters vaa stamped upon 
the breast of the picture. At headquarters was kept 
a correspondents* album in which were placed dupli- 
cate photographs of the entire force of specials. 
Says Forbes: "When I last saw this book there were 
some eighty-two portraits in it; and I am bound to 
admit that it was not an overwhelming testimony to 
the good looks of the profession. I got, I remember, 
into several messes through having incautiously shaved 
off some hair from my chin which was there when the 
photograph was taken. ... I had to cultivate a new 
imperial with all speed." 

Forbes used to say that war correspondence at this 
- stage might be considered to have reached the degree 
of professional development of a fine art. Some 
attention may thoefore be paid to the methods of 
organization which were used by the men who were 
sent to the front by the Daily News, a journal whose 
remarkable success in reporting the operations in the 
Balkans gave it great prestige>throughout the English- 
speaking world. At the outset there was a reciprocal 



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98 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

aUiance betwerai the London paper and the New York 
Herald. Forbes and MacGahan were with the Rus- 
fflans for the Daily News, Frank D. Millet and John 
P. Jackson for the Herald. In September a new 
arrangement enabled Forbes to secure Millet also for 
the Dailif News. In friendly conclave they planned 
their scheme of action. The first consideration was to 
make sure of a base of operations where they could 
always depend upon finding a wire and a despatch^. 
This point clearly was the city of Bucharest, but no 
correspondrait, however, could continuously go back 
and forth betwerai the city and the army. Forbes 
telegraphed for a young man who had acted as his base 
manager in Servia. A correspondents' headquarters 
was fitted up in the city, copyists were hired to be 
ready at any time to write out in bold and readable 
script all messages that came over the wire and at) 
despatches that were sent in by the men at the front. 
So uncertain were these men of the disposition which 
the censor at Bucharest might manifest to their mes- 
sages that they decided to try for more than one method 
of communication. And their scheme was nothing 
else than a pony express. Jackson suggested an ex- 
press across the Carpathian Mountains to Kronstadt 
in Transylvania where a wire might be had which would 
carry any message that the censor might obliterate. 
The distance was eighty miles. Eight horses were 
secured for stages of ten miles each and eight men were 
engaged to care for the animals. Only once was this 
express system used. Forbes reached Bucharest on 
August 2 with the story of the Russian reverse b^ore 
Plevna on July SI. The manager in charge of tlie bu- 
reau told him the censor would surely hold up the 
message. The correspondent turned to his ponies and 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



ARCHIBALD FORBES 99 

from the town in Hungary the facts of the disaster 
were wired. In the end the Russian authorities 
signified their entire approval of that message. Tlie 
Neusa men thereupon realized that the censor would 
not be likely to interfere with them and abolished the 
pony expreaa. "It had lasted nine weeks," said 
Forbes, "and cost abominably, but the decision was 
that it had been worth its keep." 

Let it not be supposed that these reporters at the 
front had much experience of the soft side of life. 
Once across the Danube, they "had to abandon the 
flesh-pots of Egypt, in the shape of the civilization, 
beauty and good cooking of Bucharest." Villiers 
and Forbes shared a small wagon which they covered 
with leather and fitted up as a dining room, sleeping 
room and drawing room, and here they entertained 
some very distinguished callers upon occasion. For 
cooking utensils they had a stew pan and a frying pan. 
Their joint attendant was an old Servian called Andreas, 
who had " a mania for the pxm;hase of irrelevuit poultry 
and for accommodating the fowls in the wagon, tied 
by the legs against a day of starvation." The wagon 
bed was rather narrow for two able-bodied mea to sleep 
in, but Forbes and Villiers managed it, although 
Forbes found some inconvenience in the artist's 
practice of going to bed with his spurs on. 

At the outset the Daily News force divided the 
territory, so that the whole field might be covered 
without duplication or interference. Millet was for 
some time in the Dobrudscha and after the fall of 
Plevna he went into the mountains with Gourko. His 
courier service proved of such efficiency that the 
Russian generals themselves were fain to send their 
despatches by his messengers. MacGahan most of 



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100 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the time was with Skobeleff. Forbes had the ben^t 
at times of valuable hints from General Ignatieff. He 
saw the crossing of the river, the battle of Flevna, and 
the fierce conflict in the Shipka Pass, but after the 
September attack upon Plevna he was struck down by 
fever. Villiers was his constant companion through 
these months. 

During the opening weeks of the campaign, while 
MacGahan was away with Gourko and Millet was 
with Zimmermann, it fell to Forbes to cover the 
Russian advance from flank to flank. He waa in the 
saddle at this time morning, noon and night, and much 
of the time he was his own courier back to Bucharest. 
General Ignatieff fancied him and his paper, and to 
this Russian commander Forbes was indebted for 
several "tips," much as MacGahan came under obliga- 
tion to Skobeleff. These were days of tremendous 
toil of body and brain. Years after Forbes wrote: 

"To this day I shudder at the recollection of those long 
weaiy rides. . . It was mostly night when I reached the 
Danube where the bridge of boats was. Leaving my 
horses at Sistova, I would tramp in the darimesa across the 
bridge, and over the islands and flats, ankle-deep in sand, 
the three miles trudge to Simnitxa, the village on the 
Roumanian side of the great river. I have reached Sinmitza 
so beat that I could scarcely stagger up the slope. Once 
when I got to the bridge I found that it was forbidden 
to cross it. Two p<Mitoons m the centre, said the officer, 
were under water, and there was no thoroughfare. . , . 
I represented that I did not belong to the Russian am^. . . . 
He laughed, sud if I drowned it was no affair of his, and 
. . . that I might go to the devil if I had a mind. I found 
the two pontoons submerged as he said, and a fierce current 
running over them, but the hand-rope was above water. 
This I clutched, and crossed the interval, hand over hand 
along it, sloshing down with the current as the slack of the 



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ARCHIBALD TOBBfiS^ -•■■101 

n^ gave to my weight. Simuitza reached somehow, there 
was still about niaety miles to Bucharest. Off then to 
Giui^vo. fifty miles' iii^t drive in a rattletrap drawn by 
four half-broken ponies harnessed abreast. I have been 
upset freely all along this dreary plain; spilt into a river . . . 
overturned by a dead horse into a dismal swamp. During 
the railw^ journey from Giurgevo to Bucharest it was 
possible to b^in my round-hand telegram, writing a few 
words at a time when the stoppages occuired. . . . Bucharest 
finally reached I had to finish my message without deliQring 
even to wash, that it m^t be in time for next momiog's 
pvpGT in England." 

Villiers and Forbes were the only civilian spectators 
of the desperate and futile assault of July 31 upon 
Plevna. Up among the oak shrubs on the height, 
while the cannon thundered over their heads, they 
watched. Below in a hollow snug among the foliage lay 
Plevna with the sun glinting on the spires of its min- 
arets. Close to them the General "with set face and 
terrible, eager ^es," his fingers and lips working, had 
his post. They watched "the swift rush, the upheaval 
of the flashing bayonets, and listened to the roar of 
triumph, sharpened by the clash of steel against steel. " 
Looking on as the shell fire tore gaps in the Russian 
ranks and hearing the shouts of "God and the Czar!" 
that came on the wind, Forbes was trying to make 
his notes. For three hours there was a steady current 
of wounded up the hills from the battle. The debris 
straggled sullenly back. The Turks spread over the 
field, slaughtering as they advanced. They threatened 
to carry the ridge on which the observers stood. 
Dragoons from the reserve reached them and assured 
their safety. Cossack and correspondent bivouacked 
tf^ther, only to be routed out by the alarm of the 
coming of the Bashi-Bazouks. With the dawning (rf 



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iW •■ tAM6iEJ& WAR' CORRESPONDENTS 

the next day, Forbes wad off to Bucharest. "Mile 
aSt&c mDe of that dreary journey my good horse 
covered loyally, weary and foodless as he was," he 
wrote in later years, "but I felt him gradually dying 
away under me. The stride shortened and the flanks 
began to heave ominously; I had to spur liim sharply, 
although I felt every stab as though it had pierced 
myself. If he could only hold on until Sistova rest and 
food awaited him there. But some three miles short 
of that place he staggered and went down. I had 
to leave the poor gallant brute where he fell and tramp 
on into Sistova with my saddle on my head." It is 
an orderly and comprehensive account of the battle 
which Forbes wired to his paper, nevertheless. And 
when he got back to the front he learned that the 
warnings that had disturbed him again and again on 
the night of the battle were not needless, for the 
Turkish marauders did massacre many wounded whom 
they found on the field. Forbes himself, for pCTsonal 
courage in aiding the Russian wounded, was decorated 
with the order of the St Stanislaus. It was at this 
time that Forbes made use of his pony express service 
across the Carpathians, warned by his despatch^^ at 
Bucharest of the unlikelihood of the censor permitting 
the story of the reverse to be wired. 

After three weeks Forbes distinguished himself 
yet more, for he bore the tidings of the Sfaipka Pass not 
only to the world of news readers but to the Czar of 
Russia himself. On the morning of August 22 he 
learned at the Imp^ial Headquarters that Suleiman 
Pacha with forty battalions was threatening the Shipka. 
He at once headed for the impending battle and 
arrived in time to see the prolonged and desperate 
fighting by which, the Turks were r^ulsed. It was 



DigitzrrlbyGOOgIC 



ARCHIBALD FORBES 103 

always said of this correspondent that he had the 
intuition of battle. He felt now that important news 
waa bound to be the reward of his labor, and this 
time he made arrangements in advance to secure a 
coup for his paper. He started with four horses and 
three men. At into^als ci twenty miles he dropped 
a man and a horse. Each man had (Hders to be on the 
alert every hour. Hien with a hired pony he rode 
from Gabrova to the b^inning of the Pass, and spent 
a day in the Pass itself where no horse had much chance 
to stay alive. Strictly the Shipka is not a pass at all, 
but a cross spur of the Balkans with deep, precipitous 
valleys on each side, with other spurs beyond them. 
The Russians were on a few knolls at the top of the 
central spur thousaai^ of feet above the level of the 
sea, and on each side along the parallel spurs were the 
Turks conunanding completely the Russian position 
in three directions. 

Before daylight the sound of cannonading reached 
Forbes. It swelled louder, seeming to come down 
from the clouds. The road became tortuous, twisting, 
turning and wriggling upward. Forbes went on to the 
skyline and sat down to study the scene below him. 
In an instant his white cap-cover drew bullets from 
a half-dozen rifles. He was imder fire all day for the 
fight lasted until dark. In his wire to the paper he said : 

"At length, as the aim grew lower, the Turks had so 
worked round on both the Russian flanks that it seemed as 
though the daws of the crab were about momentarily to 
dose behind the Russians, and that the Turkish columns 
climbing either face of the Rusuan ridge would give a hand 
to each other on the road in the rear of the Russian position. 

"The moment was dramatic. . . . The two Russian 
generals, expecting momentarily to be environed, had 
ttat, between the closing daws of the crab, a last telegram 



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104 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

to the Czar, telling what they expected, and how that, please 
God, driven into their positions and beset, they would hold 
these till reinforcements should arrive. At all events, 
they and their men would hold their ground to the last drop 
of their blood." 

The two Russian generals were on the peak. They 
were scanning through their glasses the steep brown 
road below. 

" It is six o'clock; there was a lull in the fight mg of which 
the Russians could take no advantage, since the reserves 
were all engaged. The grimed, sun-blistered men were all 
beaten out with heat, fatigue, hunger and thirst. There 
had been no cooking for three days, and there was no water 
within the Russian lines. The poor fdlows lay panting on 
the bare ridge, reckless that it was swept by the Turkish 
rifle fiie. Others doggedly fou^t on down among the 
rocks, forced to give ground, but doing so grimly and sourly. 
The cliffs and valleys send back the triumphant Turkish 
shouts of 'Allah il Allah!' " 

Suddenly the generals clutched each othef and 
pointed down the Pass. There was an electric thrill 
of excitement even in the gesture. 

"The head of a long black column was plunly visible 
against the reddish-brown bed of the road. 'Now God be 
thanked!' says Stoletoff s<Jemnly. Both g^ierals bare 
their heads. The troops spring to th^ feet. They desciy 
the long block serpent coilmg up the brown road. Throng 
the green copses a glint of sunshine fiashea, banishes the 
sombreness, and dances on the Ottering bayonets. 

*'Su<^ a gust of Russian cheers whirb and eddies among 
the mountun gaps that the Turkish war cries are wholly 
drowned in the glad welcome which the Rusaan soldiNS 
send to the comrades coming to help them." 

The rescuing brigade had marched fifty-five kilo- 
meters without cooking or sleeping and they went 
into action without a breathing halt. The crisis of 



..,,. Google 



ARCHIBALD FORBES 105 

the conflict came next day. The Russians carried the 
Ttirkish position. The Turks were sure to renew the 
fight the following day, but Forbes, convinced ttiat 
Radetzky could hold his place, decided it to be safe 
to leave with his news. 

BUs horses were ready at the relay stations. Pony 
express fashion, he rode and changed, always going at 
high speed. Riding hard all night and all day, stopping 
neither for rest nor food, he came back to the Imperial 
Headquarters in advance of any of the aides-de-camp 
who had been sent to the fighting r^on to report the 
progress of events. 

In the message which Forbes sent his paper he 
told the story of his interview with the Czar: 

"Having commumcated some details to the officers 
of my acquaJntapce on the Imperial staff. General IgnatieS 
acquainted tlie Emperor with my arrival, and His Majesty 
did me the honor to desire that he should hear what I had 
to tell from my own lips. . . . Answering the questions of 
His Imperial Highness was like going throu^ a competitive 
exanunation. He was fully master of the subject, and if I 
had not taken pains in gathering my facts from a wide area, 
I should have felt extremely foolish. As it was I was able to 
draw a plan of the operations and to illustrate my unskilful 
draughtsmanship by verbal explanations. ..." 

As a matter of fact Forbes had to convince an Em- 
peror who wondered how he could have been to the 
Shipka when not one of seven aides-de-camp had been 
able to get through. In the end he did convince the 
Czar of the soundness of his judgment. The Emperor 
thanked and complimented him and the officer who 
lata became Prince Charles of Bulgaria sent him down 
to the Danube in a carriage. 

George W. Smalley had the story in later years 
from Forbes himself, and the American correspondent 
thus tells the climax of the tale: 

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106 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

" Crossing the Danube aX Rustchuk he rode on to Budift- 
rest. . . . He arrived at eight o'clock in the evening. He 
had been three days and nights ^ther in the saddle or in the 
Shipka trendies under fire, without sleep, often without 
food. 'I was dead tired,' said Forbes. 'Not a word of tny 
despatch was written, and I had news for which I knew tlie 
world was waiting — news on whidi the fate of an Empire 
and the fortunes of half Europe depended. And it was as 
much as I could do to keep my e^es open, or sit up in the 
chair into which I had drc^ped. . . . 

" 'I told the waiter to bring me a pint ot dry champagne, 
unopened. I took the cork out, put the neck of the bottle 
into my mouth, drank it with all the fizz, sat up and wrote 
the four columns you read next morning in the Daily Neua.' 

"As a piece of literature the four columns were of a 
high order. As a piece of news they were one of the greatest 
' beats ' ever known. Taken together, and with all that 
history of those three days, th^ would entitle Forbes, even 
if he had never d<nie anything dse, to that place at the very 
head of his profession to iriiich he had nuoy other titles 
scarcely less valid." 

As Forbes left the Shipka on the evening of the 
24th he knew that MacGahan would be likely to arrive 
the following morning. The American came and 
saw the fighting of that day, and on the evening of 
the 25th he in turn quit the Pass, and by almost incred- 
ible exertions, lame as he was, got to Bucharest, and 
then back to Plevna in time (or Osman Pasha's furious 
sortie of the morning of the Slst. 

In similar fashion Forbes and MacGahan divided 
the duty of watching and reporting the series ctf 
Septembra battles which made the third Russian 
assault upon Plevna. It was merely a little town of a 
thousand houses on crooked and wandering streets. 
From the hills it was just a clump of red-tiled roofs 
and whitewashed walls, with several staring white 
minuets and a green-paint«d Christian church sur- 



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ARCHIBALD FORBES 107 

motmted by gilded crosses. Two brooks meandered 
to a meeting in the town. Its military importance 
was due only to its being the junction of two hi^- 
Foada and several smaller ones. But for months it 
held the attention of the whole worid. After five 
days the Russians acknowledged the fruitlessness 
of their assaults. Todleben was sent for and the long 
and weary si^e operations began. 

But Forbes now was shattered by exposure, fev«r 
and fatigue. At one time in Bucharest he was near 
death and he was forced to leave the field to his Amer- 
ican confreres, Millet and MacGahan. 

Very soon, however, he was again on the war path. 
The Daily News sent him to the Afghan War in 1878. 
He had been with Sir Garnet Wolseley in Cyprus and 
the fever had had him, like nearly everybody else, 
on his back, but he got to Simla in time to join the 
expedition. During a lull in the jSghting in the wint^ 
of 1878 Forbes made a long ride with two companions 
and some servants and extra horses to spend Christmas 
at Jelalabad. It was a tedious and a perilous trip. 
No man was safe a thousand yards beyond the British 
lines, but they took their chances and got through the 
Khyber Pass, reaching their friends on Chrislmaa eve. 
The festivities over, the restless Forbes hurried to 
Burmah to interview King Theebau, who had just 
succeeded to the title of Lord of the White Elephant 
and Monarch of the Golden Umbrella 

As he came down the Irrawady he saw a telegram 
which told of the massacre of Isandula, and an hour 
later he was not greatly surprised to receive the curt 
message, "Go and do the Zulu war." At once he 
was away, across India from Calcutta to Lahore, down 



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108 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the Indus to Kurrachee, from Kiurachee by steamship 
to Aden, thence to Zanzibar, and finally down the 
south-eastern coast of Africa to Port Durban. 

That war bore heavily on the newspapers because 
of the expense of wiring the news. The massacre, 
the death of the Prince Imperial, and the battle of 
Ulundi were events of the first importance, and the 
messages were correspondingly long. Forbes was 
one of the first party after his arrival which visited the 
scene of the massacre. There he found "a thousand 
corpses had been lying in rain and sun for four months. " 
He wandered about over the field; it was a horror 
far different from that of a fresh battle ground. A 
strange dead calm prevailed. The line of flight 
could be easily traced. "It was like a long string with 
knots in it; the string formed of single corpses, the 
knots of clust^^ of dead, where, as it seemed, little 
groups had gathered to make a hopeless, gallant stand, 
and so die fighting." In the long grass he stumbled 
over skeletons that rattled to the touch of his feet. 
Some bodies were mere heaps of yellowed bones. 
Others were covered with leatherlike skin under which 
the flesh had wasted away. Mournful relics yrere 
carefully collected by the members of the party, 
some books, photographs, and, saddest of all, letters 
from families and friends at home. 

On the August morning in 1870 when ihe Prince 
Imperial received what his father had called the 
"baptism of fire," Forbes had stood on the heights 
of SaarbrUck when the first gun was fired by the 
Germans. Now after nearly nine years, when the 
son of Napoleon HI. and the Empress Eugenie had 
reached the age of twenty-one, the correspondent 
stood with bared head before the young mtm's body 



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ARCHIBALD FORBES 100 

in Zululand. The Prince had gone out with the 
British troops to have a glimpse of real war. He 
was surprised when out with a small party and 
sUun by the stealthy Zulu warriors. Consternation 
reigned in the camp of the British when the news 
reached them. At once a searching party was oi^an- 
ized and several war correspondents were among the 
large number of men who were spread out over a wide 
territory seeking for the body of the fallen Prince. 

Melton Prior has told how he rode with Forbes 
and how, when a man raised his hand and signalled, 
Forbes called to him and was off at a gallop, being 
one of the very first to reach the body. It was covered 
from head to foot with ass^ai wounds. Says Forbes: 
"We found him lying on his back, stripped, his head 
so bent to the right that the cheek touched the sward, 
the right arm stretched out. His slayers had left 
a little gold chain which was clasped round his neck, 
and on which were strung a locket containing a minia- 
ture of his mother and another enclosing a relic. The 
relic was that fragment of the true cross which was 
given by Pope Leo the Third to Charlemagne on his 
coronation, and which dynasty after dynasty of 
French monarchs halve since worn as a talisman." 

Now came the battle which ended the campmgn 
and the last and perhaps greatest of the exploits of the 
Da^y Nevsa man. The brunt of the battle of Ulundi 
was borne by a column of fighting Zulus who had been 
a terror to every tribe in that part of the continent. 
They were worked up to the height of native madness. 
The night before the battle the British camped within 
sight of the town and all night they heard the chanting 
of weird and wild war songs and shouts of defiance. 
There was a strange bit of panic, but in the morning 



nigiUrrlbyGOOgIC 



110 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the troops were marshaJled in good order and marched 
(orword in the form of a great square. Out of the 
circular kraal of Ulundi, the capital of Cetewayo, the 
King of the Zulus, poured the warriors in black masses. 
They came on regardless of the volleys of the Catling 
guns and Forbes declared their valor and devotion 
imsurpassed by the soldiery of any age or nationality. 
They converged on the British square like a whirlwind, 
halting to fire, then rushing forward in spite of artillery 
and musketry. 

One rush which came within a few yards ci the 
square was the last chaige of the brave blacks. After 
they bad retired from that comer which had been the 
point of attat^, leaving a heap of dead bdbind, Melton 
Prior, the war artist, went out and paced off the distance 
to the nearest body and found it to be nine paces. 
The Zulus could not endure the appliances of civilized 
warfare with which this expedition was equipped. 
They b^an to waver. Lord Chelmsford saw that the 
instant had come for the cavalry to bolt from the square. 
He gave the word. The foot soldiers made a gap 
in the line and cheered as Drury Lowe and the Lancers 
poured through. With Buller's Horse they rode upon 
and throu^ the fleeing Zulus while yet they were in 
the long grass racing for the comparative shelter of the 
rough ground beyond. 

The correspondents also left the square. Forbes 
and Prior rode together for the kraal and entered it 
together, but they got separated as the huts began to 
bum. Later when they met Forbes told the artist 
that he had learned that Lord Chelmsford did not 
intotd to start a courier for the coast with the tidings 
of the victory until the following morning. Here was 
his opportunity, one of those great openings for wfaidl 



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ARCHIBALD FORBES 111 

ihs newspaper man sometimes waits for years. Forbes 
would go; he would start almost immediately for the 
wire. The nearest tel^raph office was at Lands- 
mann's Drift, and between TJlundi and this telegraph 
key there yawned one hundred and twenty miles of 
unmapped country. No matter; he must go. Only 
thus would his account be the very first to reach 
England. He allowed himself a faaJf-hour in which 
to make ready. 

If Prior could draw a sketch in thirty minutes 
Forbes would take it along and place it in the mails. 
The artist lost not a second. On the ground he 
stretched a large sheet of paper and in the course of 
half an hour he made a rough outline sketch, to be 
elaborated into a drawing for publication in the 
offices of the lUuatrated London Neivs. 

Ere he started Forbes offered to take messages and 
information from Lord Chelmsford round by way of 
Durban to General Crealock and the offer was accepted. 
As he was about to swing into the saddle a young 
officer offered an even bet that he would not get through, 
and when Forbes accepted the soldier insisted that the 
stakes be put up. cheerfully saying that he did not 
expect to see the correspondent alive again. Then 
Prior and a few news men and officers cheered the 
bold reports as he left the camp upon a ride that is 
held by many to be as great a feat as any war corre- 
spondent has ever achieved. 

For about ten miles the going was decidedly 
perilous. The only road was the trail left in the grass 
by the wagon wheels of the British expedition on its 
way to the Zulu capital. There could be no doubt 
but that hostile stoagglers in plenty would be prowling 
about in the bush. The w^ led near the kraals which 



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112 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

had been burned by the British and to the neighborhood 
of which their former occupants might be expected 
to make their way under cover of darkness. The 
first hour or two the night was very dark. Against 
the blaze of several fires in the vidnity of destroyed 
kraals Forbes saw the dark figures of little groups of 
Zulus. The slight breeze brought to his ears the 
shouts of the enemy, sometimes from the rear and some- 
times from the front. The bush was thick in places 
and in the gloom he had hard work to trace the wagon- 
wheel trail. 

Finally he lost the track altogether. Oearly he was 
off the line, for neither could he see a rut nor could the 
naked hand discon one as he dismounted and felt 
his way about the grass. The only thing to do was 
to halt in dead silence and await the rising of the 
moon. Forbes always said afterward that "the longest 
twenty minutes of his life was spent sitting on his 
tremt&g horse in a little open glade of the bush, his 
hand on the butt of his revolver, waiting for the moon's 
rays to flash down into the hollow." Any instant 
might bring the enemy. After what seemed an inter- 
val of hours rather than minutes the moon rays reached 
the glade, the right path was found, and the rider 
fared on cautiously, afraid to try for speed until he 
was clear of the belt of greatest danger, the near 
region of the hostile blacks. In less than an hour 
he rode into the reserve camp at Etonganeni and told 
his news. 

Now he must spur and ride for dear life against 
time. There was comparativdy small danger on the 
back trail, although later Forbes learned that a British 
lieutenant and a corporal were cut down by the Zulus 
that same night on the road over which he plunged 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



ARCHIBALD FORBES IIS 

at a hard gallop. But there were forts at intervals of 
about fifteen miles and fresh horses were available 
with the chance to bolt a morsel of food and drink. 
Through the whole night he rode at top speed, sparing 
himself not a whit, knowing he was in advance of all 
others, but determined his paper should have his wire 
at the first possible moment. The exertion, he said, 
"was prolonged and arduous." After twenty hoius 
he rode into Landsmann's Drift. Only the magnificent 
rider whom Rior described Forbes to be could have 
accomplished the distance through that country in 
that time. 

Here was the wire and in a few minutes the despatch 
was filed and the key was clicking it off. But the 
correspondent's labor was not yet over. Not only did 
he s^td his tidings to his paper, but he wired them also 
to Sir Bartle Frere and to Sir Garnet Wolseley. The 
former put the message on the cable and sent it to the 
London offices, and amid loud cheers the despatch was 
read both in the House of Commons and the House of 
Lords, "a proud moment," said The Times, "for the 
confraternity of special correspond^its." Tliua the 
news of Ulundi first came to England. 

But Forbes meanwhile was off again. He rode on 
to Ladysmith alone, where he borrowed a buggy and 
a span of horses with the promise of a payment of 
£100 if they were returned in a damaged condition. 
Thence he fared on to Estcourt and Maritzburg, whence 
he reached Durban by post-cart and rail. The addi- 
tional one hundred and seventy miles from Lands- 
mann's Drift was done in thirty-five hours. Not 
only did Forbes score with a long description for his 
paper, but he put Prior's sketch into the mails emd it 
s^lipeared in the lUunrated News a wedc ahead of all 



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114 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

rivals. But Forbes, when his task was completed* 
was in a state of utter exhaustion; even his iron will 
could compel hia body to do no more. 

After that achievement Forbes did little of con- 
sequence in hia profession. He wrote and lectured and 
talked over the "good, old days" with his fellow 
reporters. He had depleted even his tremendous 
physic^ strength by his ten years on the war path. 
Finally he died quietly in London in 1900 and was 
buried in Aberdeen. A tablet with a medallion 
portrait was placed in his honor in the crypt c^ St. 
Paul's Cathedral. 

Courage and energy, with a ready wit, an active 
brain, and a facile and powerful pen made Forbes 
the really great special that he was. He had his 
enemies. He was not always very modest and he 
never hesitated to criticize the plans of a general if he 
did not approve of them. He has been accused of 
appropriating to himself the feats of other corre- 
qiondents. But if he had not possessed self-confidence 
along with his tenacity of purpose and his resolution 
he never would have plat^ to his credit the long series 
of reportorial feats which belong to him beytmd chal- 
lenge. He had the gmuine military instinct. He 
could write a vivid and moving article on the shtntest 
notice and under the most adverse conditions. 

Kipling hits him o£F very well when he refers to 
him as "The Nilghai, the chiefest, as he was the 
hugest, of the war correspondents, and his experience 
dated from the birth of the needle-gun. Saving 
only his ally. Kenen, the Great War Eagle, there was 
no man mighti^ in the craft than he, and he always 
opened the conversation with the news that thoe 
would be trouble in the Balkans in the spring." 



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CHAPTER IV 
JANDAEIUS ALOYSIUS MicGAHAN 

"Of all tlie men wbo hmr^ ffuped Kpntatkn u wm corr M pondento, 
I K0ud HMGabui H tliB mart Ivilliuit. 

— ArektbaUFofiM. 

Qklt once has the body of a war correspondent 
been brought across the Atlantic by an American 
war ahip'that his final resting place might be in the 
land that gave him birth. The L^alature of the 
State of Ohio appropriated the money for the payment 
of the necessary expenses; the United States ship 
Quinnebang brought the casket containing the remains 
of Januarius Aloysius MacGahan from Constantinople 
to Lisbon, whence the cruiser Potchatan conveyed it 
to New York City. His foreign grave in the little 
cemetery on the hill behind Pera had been wept ovec 
by the hero of the Russo-Turkiah War, General Skobe- 
leff, by the scddiers and war correspondents of a dozen 
nationalities, and by the o£5cial representatives of the 
United States. Upon the arrival of the casket in New 
York it was received by a guard of honor made up of 
press men who had been in the field in the Civil War, 
and thence, with appropriate ceremonies, it was taken 
to the Ohio village where "the Cossack correspondent" 
was bom. 

Year alter year the praises of this bold adventurer 
and vivid writer are chanted in rude verse by the 
peasants oi the Balkans, and every year the anniver- 
aaiy of his premature death is commemorated by the 
fjngip g of a requiem mass in the cathedral at Timovat 

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lie FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

the ancient capital of Bulgaria. When he was riding 
among the Bulgarian villages in war time the peasants 
used to crowd about him and kisa his hands, hailing 
him as their hberator, and there were many of the 
Bulgars who agitated for the choice of this wandering 
writer as the head of the principality whose creation 
his despatches had done much to make possible. 

MacGahan's most romantic exploit was his ride 
thiough the deserts of central Asia in chase of the army 
which was marching against Khiva, defying the 
absolute prohibition of the general in charge of the 
column, keeping wdl ahead of the troops of Cossacks 
on his trail, and venturing amid perils that proved too 
much for several ai the expeditions of Russia. The 
Russians knew audacious bravery when they saw it, 
and whenihe had out-generaled and out-dared them 
again and again, they made MacGahan their friend 
and comrade, and the emperor sent him the decoration ' 
of the St. Stanislaus. 

At Khiva began the romantic friendship of Mac- 
Gahan and General Skobele£F. Physically both were 
giants, the Russian standing six feet two in(Uies in 
his mihtary boots and the American six feet three. 
Both were reckless of peril, careless of comfort and 
indomitable of will. Both were able to converse in a 
dozen tongues and dialects. Brothers they soon 
became, eating in the same mess, sleeping in the same 
tent, each in his own way doing his duty to the hilt. 

In 1876 the American wrote the letters upon the 
atrocities of the Bashi-Bazouks which changed the 
map of eastern Europe. They were so simple a 
recital of things seen, so earnest, so clear, so pathetic 
and awful in their narration of bubarities undreamed 
frf in the lands beyond the Balkans, that they took 



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JANUARIUS ALOYSrUS MacGAHAN 117 

hold upon the hearts and conscJences of men. England 
was profoundly stirred. Gladstone was roused to a 
fury of passionate indignation. And the end was an 
independent Bulgaria. The army of the Czar gave 
the Bulgars their freedom, but it was the Ammcan 
fwrrespondent who put the army upon the field. 

When the war came MacGahan was hampered by an 
ankle which had to be set in a plaster of Paris cast. 
The small bone which made the trouble was broken 
a second time, but the imperturbable reporter had 
himself hoisted on a gun-carriage, and so endured the 
whole hard raid with Gourko over the mountains soon 
after the crossing of the Danube. He managed also 
to go through the entire campaign before Plevna. 
Orders came for him to "cover" the Berlin Conference 
where the Powers were to apportion the spoils of war, 
when his unselfish devotion to an American friend 
down with typhoid fever cost him his life. 

He used to be called "the Cossack correspondent" 
because of the swiftness of his movements. Frank 
Millet named him " the will-o'-the-wisp of war writers. '* 
George Augustus Sala pronounced him one of the most 
cosmopolitan men he ever had met — "a scholar, a 
linguist, a shrewd observer, a politician wholly free 
from party prejudice, a traveler as indefatigable as 
Schuyler, as dashing as Burnaby, as dauntless as 
Stanley." 

Such a future no one would have predicted for the 
Irish boy who was bom amid the hills of Perry County, 
Ohio, on June 12, 1844. His mother was widowed 
when the boy was seven years old, and she decided 
to use the little money that fell to her in the education 
of her diitdren. Hiis lad grew up to hate oppression. 
The name he bore indicated the extraction and the 



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118 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

faith at -his parente. His father had come from 
Irdand, and the boy's sympathies were due in part to 
the'patemal teaching r^arding the injustices inflicted 
upon the fatherland. 

At the age of twenty-four MacGahan went to 
Europe, to improve his general education and to 
study law. At various times he resided in Brussels, 
in Germany and in France. When Louis Napoleon 
declared war upon Prussia he was at work in the 
Belgian city. One day the representative of the 
Neto York Herald came to Brussels, and MacGahan 
ventured to him with an offer of his services as a 
special correspondent. He was "taken on," and 
almost immediately he b^an to make his record of 
"scoops." 

He reached the headquarters of the old Algerian 
hero BourbaM in time to witness and record the 
disastrous defeat and subsequent dispersion of the 
demoralized troops in Switzerland. Thence he pro- 
ceeded to Bordeaux and wrote a series of interviews 
with the leading statesmen of France which attracted 
wide attention in America and Europe. Chief among 
them were detailed and carefully written conversations 
with Gambetta* Louis Blanc and Victor Hugo. When 
the Assembly adjourned its sittings to Paris, MacGahan 
hurried to the capital, arriving at daybreak on the 
18th (A March, 1871, the memorable day of the attack 
oa Montmartre. He noticed an unusual commotion 
in the streets, and by following a raiment of the line 
he had the good fortune to be the only reporter present 
at the opening of the Commune. The behavior fif the 
young American throughout those days of peril, his 
courage, tact and industry, made him famous in the 



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JANUARJUS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN 110 

city. He sent out graphic and accurate letters which 
weK copied by the papers of many countries. 

If the Communists liked him could they be blamed? 
He found time always to do gea&mis and kindly deeds. 
Always and everywhere, therefore, he was sure of a 
hearty welcome. From the time he b^;an service as 
a newspaper correspondent until his fellow reporters 
stood by his grave beside the Bosphorus, he won 
the favor of all whom he met. going from one knot of 
companions to another with all the ease and innocence 
of a child, leaving affection and admiration behind 

He had to take his turn in prison when the Yec- 
sailles troops eatered the city, for while a fierce battle 
was raging in the streets he was taken into custody. 
During the War ctf the Conuuune he had been a great 
deal with that singular champion of the people, the 
Pole, Dombrowski, and for that comradeship he 
several times nearly paid with his life, and he was de- 
nounced repeatedly to the authorities by those who 
knew of the fellowship of this odd pair. By the inter- 
cession of Elihu Washbume, the Ajnerican minister, 
who earned the admiration of all foreign governments 
by remaining in Faria alone of the ambassadors through 
the si^e and the Commune, MacGahan was saved. 
Washbume went at midnight to the Place Vendome 
and made formal application to G^ieral Douay for 
the release of his countryman. 

Now for several years MacGahan led a somewhat 
wandering life. He penetrated into some of the most 
remote comers ot the Continent, constantly finr^ing 
incturesque materials for his ready pen and sending 
letters to the Herald. In the fall of 1871 he was in the 
Crimea, staying at the summer residence of the Czar. 



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120 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

Here almost by chance began the influences which made 
MacGahan the strong friend and defender of the 
Russian people. Life was easy at the summer court; 
ceremony was relaxed somewhat; many of the entourof/e 
were considerably bored. 

Suddenly appeared an American newspaper man 
who had been through the great war in France, the 
course of which had been followed with intense interest 
by Russian society. Moreover, this young man was of 
imposing yet modest presence, an educated gentleman, 
able to narrate his adventures in a style calculated to 
rouse the attention of the most phlegmatic listener. 
An ac<ndent befell MacGahan while in the company 
of an aide-de-camp who was guiding him among the 
beautiful places along the coast. Climbing among the 
rocks, the American stumbled and broke his foot. For 
three wedcs he was in bed. 

And his bedroom forthwith became the most 
popular clubroom in Yalta, where every man who had 
nothing to do might be found and the most lively and 
diverting conversation. It was not strange, then, 
that when at the beginning of December the court 
went back to the capital MacGahan accompanied his 
new friends. That winter he spent in St. Petersburg. 
In the spring with the party of General Sherman he 
went to the Caucasus, whence he wrote a series of 
lett«^. From the Russian capital again he was 
ordered to Geneva to "cover" the meeting of the 
Alabama Claims Arbitration Commission. Then for 
a time he went about Europe wherever there seemed 
to be a promise of news. Ere long he saw and seized 
the opportunity which enrolled his name for all time 
m the lists ot distinguished journalists. 



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JANUAKIUS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN 121 

Eugraie Schuyler, author of a atandard work on 
Turkestan, many times indulged in unrestrained 
eulogy bf the man who made the ride through the 
desert in quest of a Russian army which not even a 
Cossack would have dreamed of pursuing. Said 
Schuyler: "His ride across the desert was spoken of 
everywhere in Central Asia as by far the most wonder- 
ful thing that had ever been done there, as he went 
through a coimtry which was supposed to be hostile, 
knowing nothing of the roads or of the language. 
Even the officer whose scouts had failed to catch 
MacGahan was delighted at his pluck." 

Other journals abandoned the idea of sending 
iqrarters with the expedition into a remote and mys- 
terious land in Central Asia, when they learned that the 
Russian authorities had decided not to permit corre- 
spondents to accompany the column. The one English 
correspondent who did make the effort failed to pene- 
trate any dbtance into the country. MacGahan, 
with two or three attendants who did not understand 
him and whom he did not understand, well armed but 
indifferently provisioned, made a march through the 
terrible desert, where almost every hour death threat- 
ened him by sunstroke or thirst or massacre. Cossack 
horsemen chased him for nearly nine hundred miles, 
reaching his halting places always a few hours after 
he had left them. 

Day after day he rode on his weary way, sometimes 
obliged to walk in sand into which he sank to his knees, 
and daily the dread of failure weighed more and more 
heavily upon him. On the twenty-ninth day, worn to 
the bone with fatigue, he reached the camp of General 
Kauffmann. Twice he was arrested and twice he defied 
the positive orders against correspondents going with 



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IM FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the expedition. Finally, because the interdiction was 
directed against the representatives of English papers 
especially, and he was an American, and in part through 
the intercession of his new friend Skobeleff, he was for- 
given by the general in command. The story is told 
in large part in his book, "Campaigning on the Ozus." 
althou^ to get it all one must hear such men as 
'^^^iers discourse of the tales they extracted from their 
fellow campaigner. In hia picturesque style MacGahan 
thus began his vivid narrative: 

"A bright, sunny afternoon. A wide, level expanse 
of plain, cut up here and there by canals, and dotted with 
clumpa of brushwood; on the south, extending to the horizon, 
a sedgy marsh, over which flocka of waterfowl are careening 
in swiftly changing clouds that sometimes hide the sun; to 
the west a caravan with its string of camels, creeping slowly 
along the horizon's edge, like a mammoth snail; to the east. 
the walls of a mud-built town, over which, leaning up against 
the sky like ^>ears, rise the tall, slotder masts of ships. 

"The place is Central Asia, near the Syr-DaryA River, 
or Yaxartes; fifty miles east of the northern shores of the 
Aral Sea; the time the 19th of April, 1873. 

"In the foregrotuid there is a taratdoM — a long, low, 
black vehicle — in the midst of a swiftly-running stream; 
nx or ^ght horses are splaslung and running wildly about in 
the water, systematically refusing with exasperating pernst- 
ence to puU blether; four or five Kirghiz postillions, 
some on the horses, some in the water up to th^ waists, 
are pushing at the wheeb, shouting witii savage energy, 
while the wheels sink deeper and deeper at every movement 
of the nuiddened beasts. In the iaraniasa two disconsolate- 
looking travelers, wr^ped up in rugs and sheepskinB, who 
watch dejectedly but resignedly the downward tendency 
of the wheels, awaiting despondently the moment whm 
the water will be running into the box, over feet, rugs, 
arms and provisions. 

"The two travelers are Mr. Eugene Schuyler, charge 
(T t^oim of the United States at St. Prtetsburg, on a tour 



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JANUARIUS ALOYSIUS M&cGAHAN 1«S 

of observation in Central Ana, and the writer, on his way 
to Khiva." 

And why should he wiah to go to Khiva? For 
divers reasoiu: the New York Herald wanted to satisfy 
the American desire for information about that distant 
and little-known region; it was an adventurous under- 
taldng and promised to provide an abundance of 
"copy" of an altogether unusual kind. Russia " wished 
to reduce to subjection the only remaining Khanate 
in Central Asia which still refused to aclmowledge her 
supremacy, as well as to advance her frontier to the 
Ozus, and gain complete possession of the river as 
far up as the boundary of Bokhara." The fall <rf 
Khiva would ejwrcnse a strong moral influence up<Hi 
all the' Mohammedan populations of Central Asia. 
It was considered imprc^able and inaccessible; it 
was the last great stronghold of Islamism in Central 
Asia after Bokhara had fallen; and its conquest would 
tmd to confirm the belief, already widespread in those 
countries, that the Russians were invincible. 

Sudi considerations as these influenced St. Peters- 
burg to send various bodies of troops from sevend 
starting points into the desert, with the expectation 
that they would convert on Khiva. The Grand 
Duke Nicholas was to start from Kazala. General 
Kauffmann, with 2A00 men and a train of 4000 camels, 
was to march to Khiva from Tashkent. Tlie nerve 
ctf this able commander and the «idurance of his men 
viem tested to the utmost before they reached the 
Oxus. 

To reach the point mid-stream to which MacGahan 
referred he had made the long journey from the Volga. 
"Day after day, night after night, week after week, 
he had glided over snowy level plains over which the 



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124 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

icy Siberian winds rushed in furious blasts." Ice and 
snow gave place to heat and sand aa he went farther 
and farther south. At length he made his real start 
with Schuyler as a companion for the first stage of the 
journey. They waited many hours there mid- 
stream and soon after being extricated they were in 
the streets of Kazala. MacGahan had hoped when he 
left St. Fetrasburg that he might be in time to join the 
column of the Grand Duke there. He was almost a 
month too late. The column was three hundred miles 
away in the desert. The two forces, one ^m Tashkent 
and one from Kazala, were to meet in the mountains 
one hundred milea from the Oxus. 

What was the belated correspondent to do? He 
decided that be would venture alone upon the trail of 
the Kazala detachment. If he reached the Oxus after 
the army had crossed he would trust to his star for 
getting over somehow and evading the Khivan cavalry 
which would probably be hanging on its rear. Camels 
he could not get. With them his sojourn in the 
desert mi^t have been comparatively pleasant, for 
he thm might have carried a tent, carpets, provisions 
and clothing. Horses meant the loss of even the 
comforts (rf the nomads, but with them he hoped to 
make the distance in half the time. 

On the 30th of April he bade Mr. Schuyler farewell 
and crossed the Yazartes at a point several days 
journey from Kazala. With faim were an old Tartar 
interpreter, a guide, and a young servant to look after 
the baggage and the six horses. Of his armament he 
discoursed in racy style: 

"Being a man of peace I went but lightly aimed. A 
heavy double-barreled English hunting rifle, a double- 
barreled shotgun, both of which pieces were breech-loading. 



JANUARIUS ALOYSroS MacGAHAN 1M 

an eighteen-sfaooter Winchester rifle, three heavy revolvers, 
and one ordinary muzzle-loading shotgun, throwing slugs, 
be^es a few knives and sabres, formed a hght and unpreten- 
tJoua equipment. Nothing was farther from my thoughts 
than fitting. I only encumbered myself with these things 
in order to be able to discuss with becoming dignity questitHis 
relating to the rights of wi^ and of property with inhabitants 
of the desert, whose opinions on these subjects are some- 
times pecuUar. " 

The first day brought him into the midst of the 
Kirghiz, a people having a very siniater reputation 
cvea for that region. He had enough property to 
make a rich prize. He knew he must adopt one of 
two systems in dealing with this people, either fight 
them or throw himself entirely upon their protection 
and generosity. Choosing the latter policy, he would 
enter a tent, unsling his Winchester and hand it along 
with his- belt and revolver to his host, and then throw 
himself on the rugs before the fire. 

Even on the second day he began to suffer from 
thirst. Wild stretches of sand were about him. The 
fifth day, for the first time but not for the last, he lost 
his way and found himself going back over the trackless 
sand toward Kazala. That day, too, the agonies of 
thirst became almost unendurable. He was fresh 
from the snows of Siberia and had been riding fifty 
miles a day. No wonder that without water for 
twenty-four hours his throat seemed to be on fire, 
fever mounted to his head and his eyes grew inflamed. 
A shallow pool of muddy water, which coated his mouth, 
throat and stomach with slime, was his only resource. 
At three in the morning they saddled their horses 
under the stars and fared on. That day brought 
them to a little Russian fort, but they found no news 



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186 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

either of the column of the Grand Duke or of Kauff- 
maiin. 

Now he entered the part of the desert offering the 
greatest danger to travelers and surrounding them with 
the greatest horrors. The friendly riv^^ and the fre- 
quent pools and wells of water were left b^iind. Once 
lost in the desert ocean and he might wander for days 
imtil himself and his horse should sink exhausted to 
die of thirst. 

"The angry sun auks slowly down the weston sky," 
wrote the correspondent, "as though loth to leave us, and 
then suddenly drops below the horizon. The shades of 
evening gather, the desert fades into the ^oom of ni^it, 
and then suddenly reiqipears again, weird and spectral in 
the shadowy li^t of the rising moon. The hours slip by; 
we pass the silent tents, and smouldering fires, and crouching 
camels of the Khivan ambassador, who has camped here 
hours befcne; and thou^ the moon has now mounted to the 
meridian we still continue our r^id course. 

"A hurried nap, and agun we are on our way. The 
red sun flashes angrily up the eastern horizon, and now 
there is scarcely any v^etation — not even the poisonous 
upas-tike weed. Hotter the sun grows as we advance, and 
more fiery, until he reaches the zenith, and glares fiocely 
down on us from the pitiless sky. The sands ^eam and bum 
under the scorching heat tike glowing dnders; the atmos- 
phere turns to a nuaty fiery glare, that dazzles the eye and 
bums the brain like the glow from a seven times heated 
furnace; low down on the horizon the mirage plays us fan- 
tastic tricks with its spectrum-like reflection of trees and 
water — shadows perhaps of the fsr-off gardens ot Khiva 
and the distiuit Oxus; our ' horses plod wearily forward 
through the yielding sand, drooping heads and ears, until 
at last I find myself, as evening approaches, lying e^iausted 
on the sand by the well of Kyzin-Kak. " 

The seventh day brought him a staggering blow. 
The leader of a caravan which he met told him he waa 



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JANUABIUS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN 137 

almost as far from KaufFmann after tliese marches 
throuf^ the desert as when he started. He was 
within a day's march of the mountains whrae he 
supposed Kauffmann would form a junction with the 
cdumn of the Grand Duke. Not so! Kauffmann 
had taken a different route. He had started ten days 
before due south for the Ozus rather than northwest to 
the mountains. 

With many misgivings MacGahan decided to go on. 
Groing back was almost as difficult as going forward, 
but it might be weeks before he overtook the Russian 
troops. He pushed on, however, staying all night in 
the saddle, and at sunrise caught his first glimpse of the 
mountains twenty-five miles away. On the ninth 
day he met a party of guides who had been with the 
column of the Grand Duke. And again, alas! The 
Grand Duke had met Kauffmann more than a week 
before, and the two had marched for the river together. 

Again he traveled most of the night. Next day 
he heard a recital of the depredations of the marauding 
Turcomans. He changed his route once more, hewing 
by a diagonal course to shorten his distance. Provok- 
ing delays of three days were due to the difficulties of 
getting sheep for food. The guide proved intractable 
and treacherous. Nights were passed in the sand with- 
out shelter. The horses sank to their knees and began 
to show great fatigue. Loads were lightened, but one 
horse stumbled and fell his length in the sand with a 
groan, to be left atone in the gloom of the desert. 
This phantom chase could not continue much longer. 
The death of the animal seoned but the harbinger of 
doom to the determined correspondent, as the horses 
panted up steep ascents, slid down into hollows and 
wrestled with the in^orable sand. 



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128 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

On the seventeenth morning MacGahan saw through 
the field glass tents shining in the sunlight and masses 
of soldiers and the glitter (rf bayonets. It must be 
Kauffmann, he thought. 

But it was not! He had struck Kauffmann's 
trail at last, after a chase of more than two weeks 
and a ride c^ five hundred miles, but Kauffmann had 
marched from this camp five days beforel "And by 
the time I can reach the river he will have crossed it 
and taken Khiva,*' MacGahui miserably concluded. 
The officer in command here was Colonel Weimaro, 
and for the first time the American news man was 
treated rudely by a Russian. 

Colonel Weimam refused to allow MacGahan 
to go on without the written permission of Kauffmann. 
That permission could only be had from the general 
himself. And the general was well on his way to 
Khiva. The correspondent was here in the rear with 
the general getting farther away all the time. Colonel 
Weimam would examine no credentials, listen to no 
expostulations, render no assistance. 

MacGahan's spirit rose to meet the emergency. He 
could get no Russian escort to go forward on the 
trail of Kauffmann. He would go on al<Hie. Cossacks 
would pursue him, no doubt; and he would have to dare 
the Turcoman cavalry who would be hanging on the 
rear of the Russian column. He b^an to recall 
pictures he had seen of Turcomans emptying human 
heads out of sacks on the grand square of Khiva to 
the admiration of a smiling crowd! Nevertheless he 
decided to flit between sunset and sunrise, and once 
more take up the chase of Kauffmann. 

Five days passed. It was clear that Colonel 
Weimam would deal severely with the American if 



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JANUARIUS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN 129 

he caught him trying to escape. He even would not 
give any grain whatever to the horses of the corre- 
spondent, and they were now in a moat miserable plight. 
At one in the morning of May 24 MacGahan and 
his men dropped silently to the rear of the Cossacks 
who were now on the march, turned their horses* 
heads to the north and plunged into the darkness. 
The pole star was their guide. When dawn came they 
could dimly fltscem the Weimam detachment on the 
horizon. They hurried on, floundering through huge 
drifts of sand twenty and thirty feet high, which 

"piled up in all sorts of fantastic shapes, exactly like snow- 
drifts, were continually changing their form, and moving 
about under the action of the wind. The wind kept sifting 
the sand over them in little clouds, and the drifts were so 
deep and so high that working their way over them was most 
difficult and toilsome. The horses sank nearly to their 
bellies. They were obliged to dismount. Even then they 
only struggled through by a succession of plunges while 
their masters themselves sank to their knees. This con- 
tinued for nearly two miles. One of those storms wluch 
BO often sweep over the desert would have sent these huge 
drifts rolling over them, and in an instant buried them twenty 
feet deepi leaving not a trace behind." 

Another horse was left to die. Of the others, two 
could go not more than anoth^ day. Intolerable 
thirst assailed them all. Next morning after two hours' 
ride bayonets were seen glittering in the sunlight. 
He had overtaken a rear detachment of Kauffmann's 
troops. The main body had left this camp six days 
before. MacGahan was glad enough to rest a few 
hours and enjoy some refreshment. 

But there was danger in tarrying, for messengers 
from Weimam might overtake him at any minute. 
He got barl^ for his horses, and "to tell the truth." 



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180 FAMOUS WAH CORRESPONDENTS 

he said, "matters had arrived at auch a point that 
success or failure, and perhaps my own life, depended 
upon a bushel of barley." 

Next day at noon he again was in the saddle on the 
way to the Oxus. His hosts assured him the Tur- 
comans would get him. He found the road broad and 
plain and dead camels at every few yards served as 
guide-posts. The horses again sank to their knees 
in the yielding sand. At last he reached the river, 
and at the very spot where Kauffmann had taken off 
his cap and devoutly crossed himself at sight of the 
longed-for water. In the morning he could see up 
and down the river for twenty miles; about him were 
the dead ashes of many campfires, and that was all. 

He had now been seeking the ever-receding Russian 
commander for twenty-nine days. At the outset he 
had expected to overtake him in five. But — it must 
be forward again, ascending stealthily every little 
hillock, and peering cautiously over before advancing, 
and through fieldglasses surveying continuously the 
opposite shore. 

Through the ni^t the march went on with no 
signs of Kauffmann but burnt-out campfires. Nerves 
were tightly strung. The situation was critical. 
Twice his little party had been seen from across the 
river. At last when the horses had made forty-five 
miles MacGahan decided to camp. His men refused 
to stand guard. So all night long the young American 
kept his gloomy watch in darkness so dense that 
he could see only a yard brfore him. 

Daylight came, and as they started on a half -hour 
after sunrise their ears were struck by a report that went 
through them like an electric shock. Another and 



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JANUABIUS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN 181 

anotiier came rolling up the valley of the Oxus at short 
and r^ular intervals. 

It was the roar of cannon! 

This time it was Kauffmann sure enough. 

But the Turcomans were with him. and now was 
the most critical moment of the whole joumQ'. Mac- 
Gahan peered over hill after hill, advancing with utmost 
care, trying to locate the position of the contend- 
ing parties and to avoid the Khivans. Luck hdped 
him a little; daring did the rest. He bolted through 
an opening in the lines of the Turcomans and in safety 
reached the Russian outposts. 

An officer advanced and cried: "Vuikto?" "Who 
are you?" 

"Americanetz," replied the correspondent. 

In a little while he was in the presence of the man 
he had trailed. General Kauffmann was taking tea 
and amc^ing a cigarette. 

"A molodyetz, a mtJodyetz," "a bravefellow, 
a brave fellow," he exclaimed, as he heard the tale of 
MacGahan, and a "molodyetz" MacGahan remained 
always thereafter wherever in Russia he was named. 
From a Russian there could be no higher encomium. 

The next call was upon the Grand Duke Nicholas, 
who was found living in a Ehivan mud-house, which 
was the first house he had occupied for three months. 
All welcomed the American heartily. That night be 
had the first tranquil and prolonged sleep that had been 
his for more than sixty days. 

But what about the pursuing company of Cossacks? 
MacGaban's presentiment of danger was well-founded. 
After some days at Khiva be learned tibat but a few 
hours after he had left Alty-Kuduk an officer at the 
head of twoity-five Cossacks bad arrived, breathless. 



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ISie FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

with an order to arrest, disarm, and take him back to 
Tashkent. The officer had come all the way from 
thete, about six hundred miles, hoping to intercut 
the correspondent in the desert. From passing cara- 
vans and wandering Kirghiz he heard from time to 
time of the hurrying American. He got on the trail 
and lost it, found it and lost it again, found it once 
more, and, having killed several horses, he reached 
Alty-Kuduk a few hours too late. There they lauded 
at him, telling him to follow if he dared, but assuring 
htm that the American was either with Kauffmaon, or 
the jackals, and in either case out of his jurisdiction. 

MacGahan explained the reason for all this trouble 
on his account. The Russians claimed that every 
foreigner who ever had gone into Central Asia and 
gotten into trouble had invariably accused them of 
having a hand in it. Sometimes they had caused the 
Czar considerable difficulty. Therefore to save time 
the Emperor ordered that no more Eur(^>eans be 
allowed to enter Turkestan. But MacGahan was an 
American! He argued that the prohibition did not 
apply in his case, and he stayed with the column. 

He was with the Russian army until the end of the 
campaign against Khiva, and after that during the 
war with the Turcomans. He met with kindness 
from all, from the Grand Duke down to the smallest 
officer in the detachment. On June 1 he crossed the 
Oxus with Kauffmann and his staff. Soon they 
entered a region of cool shade and fresh verdure 
which seemed Edenic after the red-hot glare of the 
desert. 

On June 10 the troops entered the city of Khiva. 
MacGahan was at home evoywhere, in the streets, 
the palace, even in the harem, and there, when he saw 



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JANUAKIUS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN 138 

the eyes of a Caucasian sultana turned upon him in a 
half-imploring way, he had an adventure which seems 
very like one of the tales out of the Arabian Nights. 

He could not forget the "calm, majestic figure, as 
she stood in the midst of the enemies of her race and 
rdigion, with weeping women and children relying 
upon her for protection," and he determined to help 
her if possible. That night he accomplishefi the feat 
erf entering the harem alone and unguided. 

Near midnight, when the sleeping dty was "bathed 
in a flood of glorious moonlight, and the whole place 
was transformed, the flat mud roofs turned to marble, 
luid the tall, slender minarets rising dim and indistinct 
like spectral sentinels," the whole region "seeming 
but a leaf torn from the enchanted pages" of an Oriental 
tale, he broke down the padlocked door in the tower 
overlooking the court of the harem, and descended a 
stairway that seemed to lead to its inner apartments. 

Revolver in hand, he moved along in the darkness, 
through many rooms and along the walls of various 
courts, involved soon in a hopeless labyrinth of doors 
and halls. A flickering match revealed that he stood 
on the vei^ of a well with a very low curb, into which 
a dropped stone found water fifty feet below. In 
another room a bit of candle disclosed a pile of black 
earth. He picked up a handful, and dropped it in 
terror — it was gun-powder! There was enough 
powder in the pile to blow the whole vast palace to 
atoms. 

Feding that he had narrowly escaped death twice, 
and that that was enough for one night, he was about 
to give up his adventm^, when he heard voices beyond 
a closed door, and, upon knocking, it was opened, and 



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184 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

he stood in the presence of the sultana, who hdd over 
her head a stone lamp, and gazed long at him. 

And there in a handsome room adjacent to the 
grand court of the harem he had tea with the sultana 
and eight of her attendants. Zuleika — for she bore 
that poetic name — conversed with him for two hours 
— in signs. The Khan had fled when the Russians 
enta«d the city. MacGahan was suspected to be an 
agent sent out by the English government, and there- 
fore he was received with kindness by these Orientals. 

As he mounted the stone stairs to depart. Zuleika 
kissed her hands to him and disappeared io the dark- 
ness. Next morning when food was sent into the 
harem it was found to be empty. The women had 
escaped I That was the end of this romance of the war 
correspondent. MacGahan discreetly forgot to report 
the adventure to the Russian commander; Kauffmaon 
learned of it a long time after when he read the story 
in the American's own account of the campaign. 

MacGahan interviewed everybody within reach, 
including the Khan, who returned after a time to the 
dty. He rode with the foremost in the campaign 
against the Turcomans, the bravest and most warlike 
race of Central Asia. He witnessed the signing of the 
treaty between Kauffmann and the Khan. Then he 
voyaged down the Oxus and across the Sea of Aral. 
And there he found the a)rrespondent of the London 
DaUf/ Telegraph, who had been sent on the same 
mission, but who had not been able to penetrate the 
desert. On the 29th of September, MacGahan was 
back in Orenburg. 

One thing more, and a very important thing, is 
to be chronicled of the campaign in Asia. At Khiva, 
MacGahan and Skobeleff met for the first time. They 



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JANDABIUS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN 135 

parted to meet again in Paris and finally in Roumania 
in the great war between Russia and Turkey. Tliey 
were the last two to leave Khiva. In the letters which 
MacGahan sent the London DaUy News during the 
war, he described his friend and told the story of one 
of his daring Asian exploits as follows : 

"He would attract attention anywhere. He is a tall, 
handsome man, with a lithe, slender, active figure, a clear, 
blue ^e, and a large prominent, straight nose, the kind of 
noee it ia said Napoleon used to look for among his officers 
when be wished to find a general, and face young enough for 
a second lieutenant although he is a general — the youngest 
in the army. 

"When I saw him last he was Colonel Skobeleff, and 
had just returned from a remarkable and daring expedition, 
for whidi he had recaved the Cross of St, George. Kauff- 
manu wished to ascertain whether Markaso£F, whose coliunn 
had been obliged to turn back in the desert for want of water, 
would be able to reach Khiva by a certain route. But the 
Turcomans whom he had just been fighting had all fled in 
that direction. 

"To have explored the route with safety it would have 
been necessary to send a large column, which Kauffmaui 
did not think the importance of the matter justified. The 
only alternative was for a small party to make the attempt 
at the risk of falling into the hands of the exasperated 
Turcomans. This Colonel Skobeleff volunteered to do. 
He took three friendly Turcomans with him, disguised him- 
self in the costume of a Turcoman, and started on his 
perilous enterprise. 

"He did not return for ten days, and everybody had 
given h itn up for lost, when he finally appeared at Khiva the 
dtqr before KauSmanu's evacuation of the capital. He had 
managed to elude the Turcomans, and to reach the pomt 
where Markasoff had turned back; he explored the way, 
measured the depth of the wells and the amount of water 
th^ could supply, and returned safely, almost exhausted 
l^ his long ride. 

"He willed, of course, to write his report immediately. 



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136 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

but, as the army was moving next d^, he determined to 
stay behind for that purpose in one of the Khan's palaces, 
and he asked me to keep him company, which I very willingly 
undertook to do. We remuned there a day and a night 
after the departure of the army, and thus it came about 
that we were the last two of the invading expedition to look 
upon the Khivan capital. " 

Tlius ended MacGahan's work in Central Asia. 
The story of his desert ride has never been forgotten 
in that r^on nor in all Asia. Francis Vinton Greene 
in his writings has much to say of it, declaring that 
"the wonderful ride . . . would never have been 
credited, so impoasible did it seem for a man to make 
such a Journey alone, but for the two incontrovertible 
facts that he disappeared suddenly from a little post 
on the Yaxartes, and reappeared, as if from heaven, 
tour wedcs later among Kauffmann's men on the 
Oxus. " ( 

Three weeks after his return from Khiva, MacGahan 
was ordered to join the American squadron at Nice and 
proceed to Cuba, where he described for his paper the 
Virffmiu» complications. In March, 1874, he was 
back in London, where he worked several months on 
his book about his Asian experiences. In July he was 
ordered to Spain to join the expedition of Don Carios. 

He was ten months in the Pyrenees, and hard and 
dangerous campaigning it was, the days spent in the 
saddle and the nights in the open air. There is a 
peculiar element of peril in guerilla fighting, and in 
Spain in those days almost evny furze bush held a 
sharpshooter. The most marked difference in the 
general appearance of the Carlists and the Republicans 
was the color of their boinas, or large, muffin-shaped 
caps, those of the latter being red while the former 
wore blue. More than one correspondent wore ono 



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JANUARroS ALOYSroS MacGAHAN 137 

color and kept the other handy in his pocket for emer- 
gencies. 

The American news man, however, wore the Carlist 
fxdor, and when he was captured amid the mountains 
and apprehended as a follower of Don Carlos be- 
cause of his bo%fi, he was thrown into prison with 
another correspondent. They spent a day and night 
in a c^ swarming with vermin, and next morning were 
told to prepare %or death. MacGahan knew the 
Republicans had never shown any mercy to the Carlists 
and expected to die. At sunrise he went out, aa he 
supposed, to faice ^^Sfring squad. But once more he 
made a narrow escapf. 

Again an American official had intervened. What 
Washbume had done in Paris the American consul at 
Bayonne did here. Having heard the rumor of the 
arrest of the two press men, he hastened to their rescue, 
arriving barely in the nick of time. 

The chief battle of the campaign was the three 
days' struggle for Estella. Hiis little mountain town is 
famous in the history of the Carlist wars, and, says Sir 
John Furley, "presents a wonderful conglomerate of 
houses pressed together in narrow streets, and closely 
surrounded by perpendicular rocks which prevent it 
from being seen from any side at a distance of more 
than two hundred yards. " There were 4fi,000 men and 
dghty guns in the assault, and 16,000 Carlists, with 
the advantage of position, defended the place. The 
defenders were completely victorious. It was a 
wonderful military spectacle, and could be witnessed 
fnnn a little plateau in every detail. The Carlists 
made it almost as merry a scrimmage as a snowball 
battle. Wom^i and children with all movables had 
been hidden in the mountains. There were seven 



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188 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

villages at one time in flames on the third day. The 
Navarrese charged down the mountains five times 
through cornfields and vineyards. Hie Spanish cavalry 
horses leaped about among the rocks like goats. But 
the Carlist position was worth thousands of men, 
and they won the battle of Abarzuza-Estella. 

After months of this desultory and picturesque 
fighting MacGahan was sent to the frozen North. 
The expedition was promoted by Captain Allen Young, 
who sixteen years before had begun his Arctic career; 
by James Gordon Bennett, who was represented by 
MacGahan; by Lieutenant Innes Lillingston, R. N., 
the second in command; and by Lady Franklin, who 
insisted on sharing the expense c^ the enterprise, 
hoping tenaciously for tidings from her long-lost 
husband. 

The ship was the barque Pandora, and the object 
was to try for the Northwest Passage, as MacGahan 
stated it, "to pass round the northern coast of America, 
and come out through Behring'a Straits into the 
Pacific Ocean — a feat which has been the dream of 
navigators for centuries, but only a dream. It is our 
ambition," he added, "not only to accomplish the 
undertaking, but to accomplish it in a single season. " 
As the sequel shows, the world waited yet thirty- 
seven years ere Amundsen conquered the difficulties 
of the voyage around the northern extremity of the 
American continent, and he was three years in malring 
the passage. 

A livdy and circumstantial account of his voyage 
was written by the correspondent with the title "Under 
the Northern Lights," He gave delightfid glimpses of 
the su^my side of life in the Polar r^ons. The per- 
sonality of the author appears very distinctly in the 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



MNUARIUS ALOYSItJS MacGAHAN 1S9 

woric. It is full of the moat kindhearted humor, and 
one is able to form a pretty accurate idea of his charac- 
ter from it. 

The voyage took him through Davis Strait and 
Baffin Bay, Lancaster Sound and Barrow Strait, into 
Feel Sound. The party reached the farthest point 
attained by Ross and McClintock in 1849 in their 
search for some traces of Sir John Franklin's e^iedition. 
The record left in their cairn at this point was taken 
from the tin tube, in which it had been enclosed for 
twenty-eight years. Said MacGahan: 

"I think there is nothing impreaaes one more forcibly 
with the utter lonelineas of these regions than the fiiiH'"g 
oi such a docummt. A scrap of paper, placed here in a 
promiBcnt poution on purpose to be seen and found, but 
which has remained all these yeara juat as it was placed on 
this heap of stones by a hand long since turned to dust. 
Captain Young opened the tube, which was sealed up with red 
lead, and found a quarter of a sheet of blue foolsc^, bearing 
a brief record, dated June 7, 1849. Strange, indeed, are 
the chances of Arctic navigation. Boss was within two 
hundred miles of the spot where only a year before the 
crews of Franklin's ships, the Erebus and Terror, had aban- 
doned thdr vessels, llieae few hurried lines in the cylinder, 
\ipoa which with profound emotion we were gazing, written 
in the cold with benumbed fingers, cany us back to the 
time when the excitement about Sir John Franklin was just 
beginning, an excitement which moved the world to enthu> 
siasm and pity, and which led to sending out ship after ship 
in search of the lost ecpedition, and to the most superhuman 
efforts to save it; all, alas, without avail!" 

Now the PoTidora's party had to take their turn in 
enduring the perils of Arctic exploration. They were 
in Peel Strait, their way to the west blocked by the 
ice-pack. The eastern entrance through which they 
had come might dose and cut off their retreat; there 



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140 FAMOUS WAR CORHESPONDENTS 

was no harbor in which the ship could lie m safety. 
They waited three days, knowing that even an hour's 
delay might mean a stay of eight or nine months 
through Uie winter in a most unfavorable situation. 
Bitterly disappointed that no way opened ahead, they 
steamed at full speed on the back track with the ice- 
pack close at their heels. They reached the outlet 
in the last minute of time. Old floes were being 
welded together by new ice r^idly forming. The 
iron beak of the Pandora tore its way through the 
final barrier and dashed into the open waters of Barrow 
Strait. They were free. 

The greatest service of MacGahan's career now 
summoned him to Constantinople. In London the 
Eastern Question was the absorbing topic of the hour. 
The sympathies of the American newspaper man with 
the Slavs in their efforts to throw off the Turidsh 
yoke were deep and keen. Events of world interest 
were occurring in the Balkan r^on. He could not 
bear the notion of following their course from Paris 
or London. 

But for some reason there was disagreement between 
MacGahan and his employer, James Gordon Bennett. 
The correspondent went to the office of the London 
Daily News, a few doors away from the New York 
Herald^s bureau, told what he knew of the Eastern 
situation, offered his services, and was at once "taken 
on." The time was opportune and the paper's policy 
congenial. Lord Beaconsfield was then in power and 
the leader of the opposition was Gladstone. Hie 
Dailp News was a through-thick-and-thin supporter 
of the liberal party and espedally of the leader of 
that party. The Hebrew and Oriental sympathies 



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JANUAMUS ALOYSroS MacGAHAN 141 

of Beaconafield were with the Sultan, for the Russians 
had persecuted his race. Now by a windfall of fortune 
came the ent^prising MacGahan to the organ of the 
liberal party. For more than a year the Balkan 
volcano had been in full eruption; Bosnia and Herz- 
govina had revolted; Servia had gone to war with 
Turkey. The ruling pashas were making life intoler- 
able for the Bulgarians, the most industrious and 
progressive of the Christian populations of the Sultan's 
dominions. 

The Turkish government took away all arms from 
the Christiana of Bulgaria, and brought into the prov- 
ince a large force of Kurds, Bashi-Bazouks and Asiatic 
barbarians. Satisfied that the cause of the Forte would 
never be deserted by England, the Bashi-Bazouks 
were let loose on the helpless people of southern 
Bulgaria. Beports began to filter into Constantinople 
of the wholesale slaughter of men, women and children. 
The representative of the Daily News in that city made 
known through the paper the dark rumors which were 
whispered about in the Turkish capital. EUs despatch 
made a sensation. The Turkish government denounced 
the New8 man. The English government declared 
the reports lacked official confirmation. 

Then MacGahan was sent to make an independent 
investigation. He was to get the exact truth and tell 
it without reserve: 

The letters which he sent his paper under dates 
ranging from July 28 to August 16, 1876, are among 
the most brilliant ever penned by a correspondent on the 
field, pre-Raphaelite in their accuracy of detail, so 
powerful that they gave Russia the excuse the Czar 
wanted for a declaration of war on Turkey in the interest 
of civilization. The letters startled humanitarianism 



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142 FAMOUS WAE CORRESPONDENTS 

in England into a flame, in a few weeks wrought in the 
English people a sentiment which caused a complete 
reversal of what had been the traditional policy of 
English statesmen, and secured for Russia sympathy 
in quarters where she had no reason to expect it, dcnng 
more than anything else to precipitate the conflict 
that ended with the partial dism^nberment of the 
Sultan's empire. 

The little volume containing the letters even after 
tarty years makes moving reading. MacGahan went 
step by step over the district from which the tales of 
horror had come. His work was made easier by 
his knowledge of the Slavonic languages and those of 
western Europe. He possessed a rare combination of 
physical energy, capacity for observation, quickness 
in composition, and power of graphic expression. He 
vividly reproduced conversations with persons of all 
ranks. He "interviewed" hundreds of the surviving 
victims of Turkish barbarities. More than fifty 
villages had been burnt, without counting those which 
had been only pillaged, and fully 15,000 p^^ons had 
been slaughtered. He had information from the 
different consuls at Fhilippopolis (a city in which 
England had no agent at aU), from German railway 
officials, from Greeks, Armenians, priests, missionaries, 
and even from Turks themselves. Much of what he 
saw and learned it was impossible to print. 

Everyone in En^and read MacGahan's letters. 
They were copied by papers all over the world. In 
public meetings resolutions of thanks to the Daify 
NeiM were passed, and they were transmitted to the 
writer of the reports. Later the American consul- 
general, Eugene Schuyler, confirmed the statements 
c^ the news man. The British consul also bore out 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



JANUARIUS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN l« 

only too fully the conclusions of the London special. 
Gladstone threw himself into the agitation that fol- 
lowed, and again became Prime Minister. 

In Russia there was even greater excitement. War 
was inevitable, and war was declared on April 20, 1877. 

The hero of the war was Skobeleff, and Skobeleff's 
intimate comrade through a large part of the campaign 
was the correspondent for the Dmiy News. 

Orders came in February for MacGahan to go to 
St. Petersburg and there follow the preparations for 
the Russo-Turkish conflict. On the beginning of 
hostilities MacGahan went forward with the Russian 
army and most of the time until peace was declared he 
was with one division or another. Throughout the 
war MacGahan was laboring at great physical dis- 
advantage. At the outset he had an aakie set in a 
plaster of Paris cast, due to a fall when riding a wild 
boise. He merely said he "never had cared much for 
walking and now he would ride the more." When 
the time came that he could not even ride he was stiU 
able to find ways to see much that was going on. While 
with Gourko on the Balkan raid his horse slid over a 
bank in a narrow pass and fell on him, so that the half- 
set bone was broken again. It was then he was lifted 
upon the gun-carriage, thus going through the expedi- 
tion, and, helpless himself, witnessing several actions, 
in cme of which he nearly fell into the hands of the 
enemy. The driver of a transport wagon in which the 
correspondent found a refuge went too close to the edge 
of a mountain road and the side wheels began to slip. 
MficGahan, expecting wagon asid horses would go ov^ 
the precipice, rolled off his seat and fell heavily upon the 
rocks. For a time he was entirely disabled and had to 
be sent back to Timova. 

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144 FAMOUS WAR CORBESPONDENTS 

Of hia fidelity to duty Frank D. Millet, the corre- 
spondent of the New York Herald, said: "Half the 
time at Plevna he was on hia back unable to rise. 
During a battle he would pull himself together and face 
the bullets and the certain danger of exposure to the 
weather with obeerfulness and even gayety, for bis 
heart was all in his work. . . Crippled and subject 
to bi-weekly attacks of Danube fever, he crossed the 
Balkans in January, and kept at his duties until his 
last illness. . . His whole nature was stirred by the 
sufferings he had witnessed, and this was the spring 
of his energy which endured no check. He recognized 
the cause as worthy the sacrifices ot the war, and, if 
necessary, the sacrifice of his own life. Well may the 
Bulgarians call him their champion and their prophet 
and write poems and memorials of him." 

Every person who has written of that war has 
yielded to the fascination of the personality of Skobe- 
leff. They have spared no adjectives in their descrip- 
tions of his prowess and his generous dealing with bis 
men. The American historian, Greene, said: "His 
personal bravery was of the most reckless character. . , 
He always wore a white coat, a white hat, and rode a 
white horse in battle, simply because other generals 
usually avoided these target-marks. He never lost 
an opportunity of displaying courage. . . Yet all 
this was not mere bravado and nonsense, but was the 
result of thought and almost cold-blooded calculation. 
It was intended to impress his men and it did so. They 
firmly believed he could not be hit. " It speaks loudly 
for the character of the American reporter, therefore, 
that he was the intimate of such a man, and that the 
Russian was not ashamed of his tears when he stood 
at the grave of his friend. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



JANUARTOS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN 145 

Just how practically useful Skobeleff'a friendship 
was on two or three occasions is indicated by the 
incident related years ago in the columns of a Ga^nan 
periodical by one who knew them both well. The 
writer was in a boat crossing the Danube when he 
espied the newspaper man coming down the hill and 
making signs that he also wished to oviss to Simnitza. 
The boat was stopped and in jumped MacGahan. In 
his hands he held a roll which seemed to give him much 
pleasure. Almost like a child eager to tell his secret 
he opened the pf^rs. They were nothing less than 
Skobeleff's confidential report loaned to the reporter 
for a night while a tel^ram arrived at the imperial 
headquarters explaining a few hours* delay. Thus it 
happened that the readers of the DaUy News bad 
official particulars of the famous crossing of the Danube 
on June 27, 1877, before the Russian Emperor or any 
Russian newspaper had a word on the subject. It 
made an immense sensation throughout Russia that an 
English paper thus cornered the greatest item of news 
at the opening of the war. 

The deduction then is that if the correspondent 
would shine as a getter and transmitter of exclusives 
his policy should be to cultivate the friendship of the 
generals and then take what they confide? No; 
while there have been a number of instances of the 
communication of most valuable "tips, '* as in the career 
of Russell through the Franco-Prussian war, the corre- 
spondent has to rely in almost every case upon his own 
instinct and his ability to read the signs of the hour. 
It was so with MacGahan, too, although Skobeleff 
wanted to bestow favors upon his messmate whenever 
opportunity offered. 

At the outset of the campaign MacGahan bought 



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146 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

his outfit in Bucharest. Archibald Forbes told how 
he purchased saddle-horses and a wagon and team, 
and how he stored the vehicle with supplies and 
engaged a trusty coachman. "With these," said 
Forbes, "he duly traveled down the Danube, left them 
behind when he crossed the great river, and never once 
saw the vehicle until after the fall of Plevna, six months 
later, when he kept it for two days, and then lost it 
for good. His wretched coachman was a standing 
joke among the correspondents; a forlorn Wandering 
Jew, ever in vain search after his meteoric master. At 
all sorts of unlikely places poor Isaac would turn up, 
following some phantom trail, with the melancholy, 
stereotyped question, 'Have you seen my master?' 
followed by a request for a little mon^ to keep him 
and the horse alive. For aught I know," added the 
En^ish writer, "Isaac and the wagon may be haunting 
Bulgaria to this very day. " 

MacGahan never hesitated to take his chances with- 
out any consideration of personal comfort or safety. 
He had the clothes in which he stood and a clean shirt 
in his aaddle-bags by way of baggage. But his fellows 
said he had the faculty of avoiding the travel-stained 
and dingy look of most of them, however complete 
their outfits. And MacGahan never bothered to 
make any d^mite arrangements for a personal comls- 
sary department. In this respect, too, he took his 
chances. Rarely had he a meal ahead from his own 
resources. He was sure of food, however, thouj^ not 
of a very attractive meal according to fastidious stand- 
ards, whenever he came upon a Bulgarian hut or a 
group of Russian solfliers. 

How the imperturbable special would sing his 
way through the dreariest day was related by Frederick 



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JANUARroS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN 147 

Boyle. For some time there were four of the corre- 
spondents resident in what Boyle called "the krasl." 
When they awoke at dawn they would hear "the cheer- 
ful song" of MacGahan and the song would also 
"chase them to their beds at night." At daylight 
Uiere would be MacGahan rolled in his rugs upon the 
hay merrily troUing his lays. He would sip his break- 
fast tea between 8tan2a8. He would puff his cigar- 
ettes altematdy with his tunes. Through the day the 
songs would hardly ever cease. Said Boyle: "Solo- 
mon's ditties were a thousand and five but no man 
hath numbered MacGahan's." And when, splashed 
to the neck with mud, they would canter in from their 
rides and find Skobeteff waiting to share their meal, 
the Russian general would declare with comic rage that 
"MacGahan had learned nothing since they rode 
together through the Khivan desert except some new 
bits of song more abominably stupid than the old 
assortment. " 

At daybreak on the morning of Sept. I, 18T7, 
lieutenant F. V. Greene, then the military attache 
to the United States l^ation at St. Petersburg, and 
several other foreign officers, were waking from a few 
hours of sleep after a long ride toward Plevna, where 
a great battle was expected, when a man riding a 
rough shaggy pony, wrapped in a great ulster and 
wearing upon his arm the correspondent's badge, came 
ambling along the road. It was MacGahan, who had 
passed the entire preceding day watching the desperate 
sortie of Osman Pasha. He had spent the early part 
of the night writing his despatches and had started at 
two in the morning to carry them over the forty-five 
miles to the Danube, where the courier was waiting to 
take them to Bucharest, the nearest point where a wire 



1,. Google 



148 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

could be found available for business. The corre- 
spondent gave the military man a hurried and vivid 
account of the fighting and was off again. 

Before me is the despatch which was read next 
morning by everyone in London and New York, a 
despatch beginning "another battle of Flevna has been 
fought . . . one of the hardest-fought combats of the 
war." This despatch, like all his Balkan reports, 
reads well. Greene states no more than the truth 
when he says: "Considering the haste with which 
that latge portion of the two volumes of the 'War 
Correspondence of the Daily News' which came from 
his pen was necessarily written, there is remarkably 
little- in it which even at this day needs correction." 

One of the most impressive illustrations of the 
power of the swiftly-written record of MacGahan's 
observations is found in the long letter in which he told 
what he saw on the Sqitember day when Skobeleff, 
refused re-enforcements, was obliged to retreat from the 
double redoubt which he had captured the day before. 
Two or three passages may be quoted : 

"It has been said that nobody ever saw a battle. The 
soldier is too much excited with tiie passiona of the fight as 
well as envebped in smoke to see far around him. The 
general b too far away from the actual conflict, too much 
busied with the news horn different parts of the field and 
with ^ving orders, to see the battle, although he knows it 
better than any one else. It is only the coirespoodeDt who 
is daring enough to take and bold a good position who 
really sees a battle; but today, owing to the dense fog, no 
correspondent can say he saw more than an occasional scene 
m episode in this terrific struggle. 

"A little to my right, where General Kriloff attacked 
the redoubts near Flevna, invisible from the point where my 
colleague took his stand, the fire had been raging with fury 
for nearly two hours, a steady, continuous roll and crash. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



JANUARIUS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN 140 

intermin^ed with the louder thunder of cannon, which 
filled the air with the uproar of bullets and sheila. During 
all this time there was tittle to be seen along the crest of the 
RadisoTo ridge, where the Russian guns cx)uld be perceived 
at work, with figures flitting round them dimly seen through 
the smoke, strangdy nLagnified by the intervention of the 
fog, until the gmmera appeared like giants, and the guns 
themselves, enlarged and distorted by the same medium, 
appeared like huge uncouth monsters, from whose throats 
at every instant leaped forth f^obes of flame. There were 
moments when these flashes seemed to tight up everything 
around them. Then the guns and gurmers appeared for 
an instant with fearful distinctness, red and lurid, as though 
tinged with blood. Then they sank back again in shadowy 
indistinctness. The uproar of the battle rose and swelled 
until it became fearful to hear — like the ccmtinuous roar 
of an angry sea beating against a rock-bound coast, combined 
with that of a thunder-storm, with the strange unearthly 
ncnses heard on board a ship when laboring in a gale. . . . 
" Into this storm of bullets plunged the Russians, with 
a shout as though of joy, and then disappeared into a tittle 
hoUow, and for the moment were lost to view. Then they 
emerged agmn, disappeared in the low ground at the foot 
of the glacis, rushing onward as though the buUets were but 
paper pellets ; but, alas ! sadly diminished in number. Would 
it be possible for them to reach the parapet ? Was it possible 
for flesh and blood to break that circle of fire? To me It 
seemed utterly out of the question. Did but one bullet in 
ten find its billet, not one of those gallant fellows would 
return from that cornfield. While waiting to see them 
emerge from that tittle hoUow, my excitement was so great, 
my hand trembled so, that I could not hold my field-glass 
to my eyes, and for the moment was obliged to trust my 
naked vision. They were evidently very near the redoubt. 
Victory was almost within their grasp, but they required a 
fresh accession of strength; a rush of new men from behind; 
another wave coming forward with new impetus to carry 
the first up over the glacis; a second wave, and perhaps a 
third, each bringing new impulsion, new strength. I looked 
for this wave of reserves. I looked to see if reinforcements 



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150 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

were conung up — it the General was doing anything to 
help the gallant fellows struggling there against that drde 
of fire. . . . 

"Skobeleff had now only two battalions of sharpshooters 
left, the best in his detachments. Putdng himself at the 
head of these he dashed, forward on horseback. Be picked 
up the stragglers; he reached the wavering, fluctuating mass, 
and gave it the inspiration (^ his own courage and instruc- 
tion. He picked the whole mass up and carried it forward 
with a rush and cheer. The whole redoubt was a mass of 
flame and smoke, through which screams, shouts, and cries 
ol agony and deflance arose, with the deep-mouthed bellow- 
ing ol the cannon, and above all the steady, awful crash 
€4 that deadly rifle-fire. Skobeleff's sword was cut in 
two in the middle. Then a moment later, when just on the 
point of leaping the ditch, horse and man rolled together to 
the ground, the horse dead or wounded, the rider untouched. 
Skobeleff sprang to his feet with a shout, then with a formid- 
able, savage yell the whole mass of men streamed over the 
ditch, over the scarp and counter-scarp, over the parapet, 
and swept into the redoubt Uke a hurricane. Their bayonets 
made short work of the Turks still remaining. Then a 
joyous cheer told that the redoubt was captured, and that 
at last one of the defences of Flevua was in the hands of the 
Rusnans. ..." 

But that was not the end. The end came when 
the troops, re-enforcements having faUed to redi^ them, 
exhausted by forty-eight hours of incessant nghting, 
were driven out of the redoubt. This final passage Mac- 
Gahan then wrote, a passage which has been cited from 
time to time for its description of Skobeleff: 

"It was just after this that I met Genend Skobeleff 
for the first time that day. He was in a fearful state of 
excitement and fury. His uniform was covered with mud 
and filth; his sword broken; his Cross of St. George twisted 
round on lus shoulder; his face black with powder and 
smoke; his eyes haggard and blood-shot, and his voice 
quite gone. He spoke in a hoarse iriiisper. I never saw 



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JANUARIUS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN 161 

such a picture of battle as he presented. I saw lum again 
in his test at night. He was quite calm and collected. Be 
said: 

** 1 have done my best; I could do no more. My 
detadunent is half destroyed; my regiments do not exist; 
I have no o£Bcers left; they sent me no ranforcements, and 
I have loat three guna.' 

" "Why did they refuse you reinforcements?' I asked. 
'Who was to blame?' 

" *I blame nobody, it is the will of God,' he rqilied." 

This is the passage which Archibald Forbes called 
the "most vivi<Uy lurid picture of battle" which he had 
found anywhere. And Forbes noted that in the copy 
as originally penned MacGahan had said, what was 
quite true, that Skobeleff's tongue was hanging out of 
his mouth, but that in revising rapidly he crossed that 
statement out, his quick perceptions telling him that 
that phrase would make the passage ridiculous and 
ruin its effect. 

Frank D. Millet ttAd of the interview in the G^i- 
eral's tent and of the events that followed. He says 
that MacGahan knew the impossibility of finding his 
way to the Danube in the dense fog and that he tarried 
therefore to write his story of the battle during the 
night. Next morning the correspondent was off for the 
wire. He started for Poradin and Simnitza alone, 
riding a little Turkish horse that would follow him 
about like a pet lamb. Thirty miles or more brought 
him to the river. It was customary when about to 
cross the bridge for correspondents to greet the com- 
mandant and formally ask permission to go over. 
Leaving his horse which bore his saddle-bag and his 
Httle personal luggage and the long letter for the 
London paper, and trusting the training of the animal 
to stay in the road, MacGahan walked up to the 



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152 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

commandant's hut. Of course the last news from 
Plevna was wanted and the reporter had to take about 
five minutes to tell the story of the great battle. When 
he emerged from the hut his horse was gone! 

And with the horse had gone his despatches. Some 
wretched Bulgarian had stolen them. The corre- 
spondent never saw them again. He smiled somewhat 
mournfully, and started, lame as he sUlI was, to cross 
the long bridge, knowing that he had no time to look 
for his horse if he wished to get his news to London 
that night. When he reached Bucharest he sat down 
at the end of the tel^^aph wire and wrote again his 
story, and it was this rewritten account that appeared 
in tiie daily, and from which the citations above are 
taken. 

Those days of exposure broke Archibald Forbes 
down and he was invalided home. He reached Bucha- 
rest on his way juat in time to arrange the sheets and 
put on the wire the despatches in which his confrere 
recounted the final attempt of Osman to break out of 
Plevna, and the surrender which followed upon its 
frustration. Written with great speed were the copious 
narratives which went over the wires to London, 
telling of the Russian preparations for the expected 
sortie, of the heavy fall of snow through which gl impsea 
of Plevna were caught, and of the coming of the de- 
cisive moment with "the grey light of the morning." 
MacGahan described the cannonade, and the fighting 
"hand to hand, man to man, bayonet to bayonet." 
Then he spoke of the silence, of the lifting of the 
smoke that followed the cessation of the crash of the 
infantry and the-bellowing of the artillery. 

And then "a white flag was seen waving from the 
road leading around the diffs beymid the bridge. 



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JANUAKIUS ALOYSIUS MacGAHAN 168 

Plevna had fallen. Osman Pasha was going to sur- 
render. '* 

After the fall of the town MacGahan was delayed 
so long at Bucharest by the aggravating nature of 
his injury, which had resulted in stiffening the knee- 
joint, that he was unable to overtake the rapidly 
advancing columns before they reached Adrianople. 
He came on with the advance guard, however, whidi 
arrived at Constantinople in February. 

His friend. Lieutenant Greene, whom he nursed 
through a severe illness, thus speaks of his death: 
"It was sudden, althou^ mainly due to overwork 
during a long period. He came in from camp to 
Constantinople to nurse me when I was ill of typhoid 
fever. Two days later he fell ill himself, the diseajse 
taking the form of typhus with spots. It attacked his 
brain, which was the most vulnerable part of him by 
reason of long protracted mental strain, and he died in 
convulsions at the end of a week. " 

The burial service took place on the Htb of June, 
1878, in a little Greek cemetery on a hillside at Pera. 
The pallbearers were his brother correspondents and 
the coffin was followed by representatives from all 
the embassies. The United States minister was pres- 
ent, offices of the American ship Despatch, then in the 
harbor, and a large number of Russian officers. In the 
Czar's capital and oiher cities throughout the Empire 
masses were said for his soul. Yfhea the actual inter- 
ment took pifice very early next morning "Dobson of 
the London Times," says Frederic Villiers. "Pearse 
of the DaUy Neaa, and myself were present. Skobeleff 
was broken down and sobbed like a child. We had 
some difficulty in getting him away from the grave." 
Five years after, the Powhatan, with flfig at half 



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154 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

mast, brought the leaden casket into New York har- 
bor. Tlie body lay in state in the City Hall and then 
was borne to Ohio. The funeral at New Lexington on 
September 11, 1884, was attended by many thousands 
of persons. The grave is on a hill with a far view of the 
surrounding country. On Independence Day, 1011, 
a monument was unveiled by MscGahan's only son, 
Paul, whose mother was a Russian lady whom he first 
met at Yalta. 

The paragraph in which Lieutenuit Greene est!- 
mated the character of the correspondent a short 
time after his death needs no revision in the light of 
subsecpient studies of his career. He said: 

"No man of his age in recent years has done more 
to bring honor on the name of America throughout 
the length and breadth of Europe and far into Asia; 
no man has more faithfully served the English-speak- 
ing races by telling them the truth about great events 
in attractive form in their daily papras. . . . The 
secret of his popularity [with the Russian army] 
lay in the simple fact that he applied the plain rules 
of ordinary morak and business honesty to his calling 
as a correspondent. No one has criticized more 
fredy than he the mistakes of campaigns or the faults 
of individual men, but he never did so with malice. 
Not one of his criticisms ever gave offence, but I have 
heard the justice of some of the most severe of them 
freely acknowledged by the Russians themselves." 
And he added: "I suppose that he and Skobeleff 
stood at the head of tiieir respective professions." 



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CHAPTER V 
FREDERIC VnXIERS 

"Hw moat coasdeDtioui worker I have met during the nine yean of 
my life paised u a war correipondent." 

— Jam** CndMon. 

Fbedebic Villiebs, the pictorial joumaUst, is equally 
facfle with the pen and the pencil. He usually refers 
to himself as one of the world's most vagrant artists, 
and upon his pictures his fame is founded, but he has 
written many pages of " good stufiF," although he is 
not a war correspondent in the sense in which the 
name is applied to men of the type of Forbes and 
Burieigh. 

VTherever he appears he is bound to excite curic^ity 
and command attention. With an army in the field 
he will ke^ industriously at work making sketches, 
'but the close observer might alone detect his occupa- 
tion, for his methods are quite his own. Much of 
the time he makes his drawings in tiny sketch books, 
so small that he may hold them in the palm of his 
hand. Thus he files away multitudes of what the 
reporters call "notes," and he uses them for precisely 
the same purpose for which the news writers use theirs. 
If he comes absolutely under fire he may produce 
a somewhat larger sketch book and make drawings 
on a bigger scale, working in. quite likely, many of the 
ideas in the diminutive pad. His chief purpose is 
to get a pictorial record of the stir and excitement (rf 
battle. His work is done with great rapidity. His eye 
is quidc and keen, and his pencil almost keeps pace 



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156 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

with it. He differs with the artists who believe in 
elaborating their impressions after the conflict is over. 
Most of his pictures are made on the actual scene. He 
prefers even a hasty and imperfect sketch if it conveys 
the impression of reality and action. 

No one knows just how many miles he has covered 
in his per^rinations about the globe. But in one 
decade of a professional life which b^an almost forty 
years ago he covered 80,000 mUes. He has seen 
more battles than any soldier living and endured more 
privations. His toughest scrimmage, probably, was 
in the broken square at Tamai in 1884. Many govern- 
ments have bestowed decorations upon him, but he has 
an equal degree of pride in the fact that he introduced 
the bicycle into the Soudan and that he was the first 
to use the cinematograph in making records of cam- 
paigns. There is much of ^^liers to be found in the 
characterizations which Kipling put into "The Light 
that Failed, " and Sir Forbes Robertson came to him 
when that novel was staged to have the aid of the 
experience of the veteran in arranging the correspond- 
ents' scene. As an indefatigable traveler, with eyes 
always quick to note the peculiarities of men and races, 
Villiers has been used extensively for pictorial reporting 
of important events of every kind. But essentially 
he is a war correspondent, and if you can tell just where 
the war drum will throb next you will know juat 
where you will be likely to find Villiers whistling 
cheerfully at bia chosen work. 

Frederic Villiers was bom in London in 1852, and 
educated in France. As a lad he used to color his 
Italian skies a deep blue and put briUiant scarlet on 
the jacket of the Bed Rover of the play. Whai 



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FREDERIC VnXIERS 157 

coDTalescing from measles he would draw regiments (^ 
soldiers with fixed bayonets on his school slate, and 
his physician predicted for him a military career. 
At seventeen he made up his mind to go in for art in 
earnest, and he began by growing long hair and culti- 
vating a mustache. His industry secured for him 
admission to the schools of the Royal Academy. He 
over-worked and under-ate in his enthusiasm for study. 
The result was chronic dyspepsia and dyspepsia made 
hjm a war artist. 

He was so depressed that life seemed a burden. 
His labors were not productive of cash. Then one 
day he saw a man mending a tel^raph wire on a pole, 
topping the roof of a house. He made notes, hurried 
home, induced an accommodating cousin to balance 
himself on one of the four posts of a bedstead, with 
arms hanging down one side and le^ the other. With 
the resulting sketch he went to the editors of the 
GrapAic. It was not accepted. But the story had a 
sequel. 

One afternoon he saw a crowd around a news- 
paper poster. The large black type said that Prince 
Milan of Servia had declared war against Turkey. 
Villiers was in gloomy spirits, induced by his dyspepsia. 
Why not go to the fighting and get killed and have it 
done with? Why not, indeed? In racy style he has 
himself told the tale. 

"I rushed back," he says, "and immediately addressed 
a letter to the editor of the Weeidy Graphte, offering my 
services for the coining campaign. Early next morning 
I received a telegram: 'See me private address. Thomas.' 
I jumped into a hansom and in a few minutes was ringing 
loudly at the famous editor's door. As I entered his study 
Blr. Thomas at once came to business. 

" 'Can you speak French or German?' he asked. 



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108 FAMOUS WAB CORRESPONDENTS 

" 'I can get along fairly well in French,' I repUed. 

" That will do; when can you go?' 

" 'At once,' I answered. 

" Then pleaae leave by this evening's mail. You 
wiU find money for your journey and outfit at the office.* 

"A short interview but a very sweet one to me. That 
ni^t I left Charing Cross station by the Continental Express 
for the seat of war. With a pocket full of nwmcy, a brand 
new Idt, and the world befcoe me, I thought, now I will 
do great things. " 

The young artist left London with two letters of 
introduction, addressed reapectivdy to the En^ish 
ambassador at Vienna and to Archibald Forbes. 
In the Austrian capital the diplomat provided him in 
turn with a letter to the English consul at the capital 
of Servia and sent him by steamer down the Danube. 
Servians were hurrying from every part of Europe to the 
aid of the fatherland. When the walls of Belgrade 
loomed out of the river mists the excitement aboard 
the boat was intense. Says Villiers: "Even as we 
landed the clang of war reverberated through the old 
streets. The ringing noise of the smith's hammer, the 
rolling of gun timbers over the rough stones, the 
tramp, tramp of the troops, the clanking and datter 
of the orderlies as they hurried hither and thither, 
were heard on all sides." 

ViUiers hurried away on the trail of Forbes, who 
was at the headquarters of the army at Paratim. He 
was provided with riding boots, spurs and a big bulldog 
revolver, as he says, to stamp himself in the eyes of the 
veteran as a very determined young fellow. Amid the 
motley crowd in the market place of Paratun he had no 
trouble in finding the Daily News man; they very soon 
became fast friends and agreed to make the campaign 
together if possible. But at the outset th^ were 



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FREDERIC VILLIERS 159 

separated, Villiera to go with the anny of the Ibar and 
Forbes with that of the river Timok. The eye for 
color and picturesque detail which ViUiers possesses 
is shown by his records of this early campaign. He 
says: 

"I had to journey in springless country carta for three 
days throu^ a land sunny with ripening Indian com, 
studded with picturesque villages. The porticos of the 
cottages were strung with pepper pods of variegated hues, 
and melons and gourds of quaint shapes. The men, with 
red skuU-caps, wlute frocks bound round the wabt with red 
sashes, were well-built and athletic and toiled in the fields. 
Their womeokind, sitting spinning on the verandas of their 
houses, were dressed in pretty national costumes — white 
gowns embrtudered at the breast; from the waist aprons ot 
various colors were worn. . . But there was the shadow 
to all this sunshine. The men looked stem and the women 
woe sad. For far away over the smiling fields and happy 
homesteads a long wave of dust was incessantly rolling, which 
betokened the highway to death. The first shots had been 
exdianged on the frontier and the bloody war had begun. . . 
On arriving at the town of Ivanitza I turned out of my 
wagon, hired a saddle horse, and journeyed up the mountain 
to the Servian camp, pitched 4000 feet above the town.'* 

This war, by the way, cured his dyspepsia. His 
first efforts were those of a gloomy man who int^ided 
to get himself shot, and hia "desperate endeavors" 
in that direction built up for him a "bogus reputation 
tot bravery." After some weeks he found himself 
strong and of good cheer. He has not suffered from 
dyspepsia since. 

His first battle was a revelation in more ways than 
one. He knew only about a dozen words of Servian. 
Of the disposition of the troops in action he was 
even more ignorant than of the language. He was on 
foot, having been obliged to return his horse to Ivan- 



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160 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

itza. A few shots like the letting ofiF of fire-crackers 
were heard at a distance. Od the edge of a pine wood 
on top of the mountain he found a Servian battery 
behind an earthwork and b^an to make a sketch of 
it. He could not see that they were firing at anything 
in particular, for the morning was heavy and the smoke 
long in lifting. Soon he himself was under fire. "Pres- 
ently the air was filled with a curious rushit^ sound 
like that of a low-toned fog-horn, followed by a terrible 
explosion and a flash (A fire," he wrote. "Then the 
top of one of the pine trees flew in splinters. The 
noise from that mutilated tree was as if a huge tuning 
fork had been struck. The vibration made the ground 
tremble. It was one of the enemy's shells." 

For some time the shells continued to splinter the 
pines. The Servians limbered up and retired, going 
slowly, then at a trot, and finally galloping furiously 
down the road. Vilhers was mystified. He stared in 
astonishment, until suddenly there came through the 
fog of smoke a rush of infantry, making for the pass 
through the wood down which the battery was going. 
As they poured into the road they were packed to- 
gether rather closely and a shell burst amid them. 
The young artist then had a ^impse of the stem 
realities of war. Before the report of the exploded 
shell had passed away "half a dozen poor fellows lay 
writhing, almost torn to fragments with the splintered 
segments, drenching the turf with blood." 

He grew faint at the sight and stared fascinated. 
But not for long. All about him sounded a buzz and 
a hiss, and right in front of him were little puffs of 
smoke floating upward like soap-bubbles. Behind 
the bubbles flashed the red fez of the Turk. He was 
within a hundred yards of the enemy; there were cmly 



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FREDERIC VILUERS 181 

ft few boulders intervening. 'Vllliers seems, curiously 
enough, to have fotgotten about the dyspepsia and 
bis melancholy longing for death. He bolted. 

The retreat was a r^^lar rout. "The way was 
crowded," wrote Villiers, "with infantry, baggage 
wagons, ambulances, cavalry and artillery, all hurry- 
ing down the mountain like an angry torrent, arrested 
a mom«it here, then surging up, breaking its way, 
cutting fresh courses, spreading itself down the pre- 
cipitous sides to the base of the mountain, at least 
4,000 feet below. " With the night came a terrific 
thunderstorm, and hundreds of cattle loosed from the 
mountain camp raced down the path, trampling the 
wounded into the mud as they ran. The Turkish 
cannon bombarded the fugitives and the shells wrecked 
hundreds (^ carts and wounded and killed scores of 
men. 

Villiers was "breaking into the game" with a 
vengeance. He wore an ulster which, drenched with 
rain, was weighing him down. He clung, dead beat, 
to a wagon wheel and plodded on. A voice from within 
the cart asked him to scramble up. An officer, speak- 
ing a little Enghsh, was lying on the straw in the box, 
badly wounded. Villiers fell asleep. In the morning 
down in the plains, the pursuit abandoned, he dis- 
covoed by his side the kind-hearted Servian cold in 
death, and over himself the waterproof cloak which 
the wounded man had taken from his own shoulders 
for the protection of the stranger. 

To his delight, upon his return to Alexinatz, Villims 
found Forbes. The schoolhouse near the inn had been 
transformed into a hospital and a lot of young English 
suigeona were hard at work there. Day by day the 
artist and the correspondent observed the advance of 



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162 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the enemy upon the town. Through the nights they 
watched the stretcher-bearers trailing over the bridge 
and up the streets with their maimed fellow country- 
men. Grewsome pictures, indeed, VUliers made of those 
scenes. Badly wounded men waited hours for th^ 
turns from the surgeons, and then crawled out olf the 
stretchers and wriggled along towards the school- 
house, numy dying on the way. The artist helped the 
doctors when he could, passing instruments from room 
to room, holding candles, sometimes squeezing the 
hands of a man under an operation, standing the 
horror of it all as long as was possible for him, and then 
seeking the open air for rest and a sight of the stars. 
The dawn following the worst of these awful 
nights brought a force of Russian volunteers and with 
the sun-rising came Servian reenforcements. Says 
the artist: 

"To blare of bugles, with swin^g gut, they tramped 
down the street. Some of the few remaimog wounded of the 
previous night, stJU lying in the roadway, aroused them- 
selves for the moment and tried to turn their groans to 
cheers. Regiment after regiment passed on. Far into the 
mom the points of the b^onets glistened above the dust as 
the troops marched through the town, out into the open, 
into the valley — the valley (^ the shadow of death, for the 
smell of powder and blood was everywhere. The desultoiy 
shots which bad been exchanged in the eatly morning had 
gradually ceased, and for a time a universal quietude 
r^gned. " 

At noon, however, the battle began. Forbes 
restrained the impatience of his inexperienced conuude, 
who was eager to be ofF with the first sound of the can- 
non, and they had a good meal t(^ether before they 
went forward. They watched the action, falling flat 
on their faces as shells whistled over their heads. On 



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FREDERIC MLUERS les 

a house in a little near-by village they saw a Red 
Cross flag, and within, to their astonishment, they 
found three Russian womoi, their uniforms bedabbled 
with blood, standing by their wounded, while shells 
loosened tiles upon the roof of their quarters. The 
Servians were retreating. But the nurses scorned the 
advice of ViUiers that they go. One, "with top-boots 
of Hessian cut, short skirt and Cossack jacket, with 
pistol slung across h^ shoulders," touched her "httle 
black silk Montenegrin cap" and advised him as a 
non-combatant to seek a place of safety. 

The nurses stayed, and Forbes and ViUiers felt 
obliged also to stay. The Turkish sharpshooters were 
close in. When finally with their contingent of 
wounded they left one end of the bridge the Turks 
entered the other. For about an hour the Servians 
made a stand. Forbes, ViUiers, a surgeon and a 
wounded soldier got away in an ambulance wagon. As 
they looked back they saw the Red Cross flag still fly- 
ing, but over the heads of the Turks. The jaded 
column of beaten Servians passed over the bridge into 
Alezinatz, where the horrors of the preceding night 
were repeated. The news men found a Russian corre- 
spondent dead in the town. Two other correspondents 
were killed in that short campaign and one was 
wounded, out of twenty who followed the war. ViUiers 
records that "one met death heroically, fighting the 
enemy, defending the redoubt of which he had been 
made commandant for his personal bravery. " 

The Servians were badly whipped in that brief 
struggle. The decisive victory was won by the Turks 
at Djunis. VUliers missed the battle, for his paper had 
wired him to proceed to Bombay for the proclamation 
of the EngUsh Queen as Empress of India. 



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164 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

But after all he did not go to India. He hurried 
back to Belgrade and Vi^ina for further orders. When 
they came they directed him to omit India and instead 
to try to join the Turkish army. Down the Danube 
therefore he sailed again, this time for Rustchuk. Here 
he was given every opportunity to examine the famous 
fortress. Surprising things happened to him; he 
inspected the troops, walking down the lines, looking at 
their appearance and commenting upon the physique of 
the men. He was received in state by the commandant 
and his staff and smoked their cigarettes and drank 
their coffee with great ceremony. This was excellent 
but puzzling. On the way back Villiers learned that 
his interpreter had told his hosts that ke was an 
English colonel traveling incognito, a member of 
Parliament, who "wanted see great Turkish army." 
Villiers thought it expedient to get out of Rustchuk 
early next morning. He went directly to Constanti- 
nople. 

He was aware that his position was one of consider- 
able danger. Having shared the vicissitudes of the 
S^vian army for months, suddenly to go over to the 
Turks was a change fraught with peril. He was to 
forget the Servians and start as a gentleman just out 
from England who was anxious to see something of 
the Turkish military man. Luckily in those days 
sketches were seldom published with the names of 
their artists and he was little known even to the 
English in Constantinople. 

Luck befriended him. He met a jolly searcaptain 
who had commanded a vessel in the Black Sea in the 
Crimean war. The Turks remembered him grate- 
fully. He had conceived t^e notion of writing a book 
about Turicey. To write it he must travel. To travd 



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FREDERIC VnXIERS 165 

he must have a passport or firman. The authorities 
provided him wi^ one a foot and a half long. That 
was a very precious scroll, for the Turks would measure 
the importance of a visitor by the length of the firman 
he might bear. Villiers, sure he could not get a permit 
on his own account, induced the obtain toindude 
him in his firman as secretary, without mentioning his 
name. 

They went hither and thither about Turkey to- 
gether. Such attentions as were bestowed upon them! 
"At Adrianople," says Villiera, "an aide-de-camp of 
the government met us; we were billetted on the 
first merchant of the town, who, with usual Oriental 
poUteness, would come in after the evening meal and 
inquire after our healths, and with a salaam assure us 
that his house and his servants and his animals were 
DO longer his but ours." 

Much of the miseries of Roumelia they saw. Vil- 
lages were gone. Houses were in ruins, only chimneys 
standing. Bodies, thinly interred, lay in the streets. 
Carrion birds hovered over the country. From time 
to time they met Bashi-Bazouks and Circassians. 
They w^re not molested, for the fiat had gone out from 
Constantinople that the English were to be respected. 

At the frontier town of Nisch, Villiers received a 
serious warning from an English friend that the 
governor of Alexinatz had threatened to hang the 
correspondent of the Qraphic on sight should he fall 
into Turkish hands. To Alexinatz the artist went 
nevertheless and right into the presence of the governor 
of the sacked and ruined town, finding him seated on a 
packing case warming his hands over a charcoal 
brazier. The firman was as potent as ever. He 
dined in state with his would-be executioner and 



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166 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

received many good wishes from him as he departed 
with the sea-captain back to Nisch. 

Returning to Constantinople the artist fell in with 
"VaJ" Baker, the famous British cavalry officer, who 
was awaiting the outcome of his proposal to reorganize 
the Turkish gendarmerie. Colond Valentine Baker, 
to use the full name and title, assured Villiers, aa the 
artist was leaving to watch the mobilization of the 
Russian army, that he expected soon to follow, tor 
"nothing was to be done with the Turks. " But wh^i 
Villiers again met him it was in the same Constantinople 
dub house, and Baker was the hero of the hour, for he 
had just made for himself a great name by covering the 
retreat of the renmant of the Turkish army in the 
spring of 1878. 

Villiers went from the capital to Jassy in Roumania, 
where he planned to cross the Fruth into Russia. It 
was impossible as an English news artist to advance in 
that direction, so he annexed himself to a Swedish 
grocer who was leaving for Odessa on a business trip. 
Now for once he lost his luck. By taking an unlighted 
dgarette into the police bureau of a frontier town 
he betrayed the fact that he was not accustomed to 
travd in Russia. On the wall hung a crude picture of 
the Czar. He was reproved for smoking in the august 
presence, in spite of the absence of smoke, and until 
he was in the train for Odessa he could feel suspicious 
eyes always upon him. At Kishin^ he l^t the train 
and the grocer and began making sketches. 

Troops were massing outside the town. The artist 
wished to be inconspicuous and therefore used no 
notebook of any kind, actually making minute "notes" 
on his finger nails, and transferring his drawings to 
paper under the shelter of his hotel. The cold was 



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FREDERIC VILLIERS 167 

severe, and once he nearly lost thumb and "notes" 
by frost-bite. A Scotchman, serving as a Russian 
postmaster, detected his nationality and Villiera 
confided to him his secret. Suspicion allayed by the 
kind offices of this new friend, the adventurous artist 
got across the frontier with his pocket full of sketches. 

For rest, and to get a kit for the coming campaign, 
Villiers now returned to England. Within a month 
came Russia's declaration of war upon Turkey, on 
AprO 24, 1877. It was his birthday and he put in the 
day traveling to the front. He reached Bucharest 
barely in time to catch the train for Ibrila, and next 
morning he saw the first shot fired across the Danube 
into the town from a Turkish monitor in the river. 
Villiers, moreover, was one of four correspondents who 
were in that terrific struggle from b^inning to end; 
he beard the last shots of the war and witnessed 
the proclamation of peace by the Russians on the 
plains of San Stefano within sight of the minarets of 
Constantinople. 

Those were the golden days of the war reporters. 
They were free lances, coming and going almost at 
will, several scores in number, very keen in com- 
petition, clever in strategy for access to the wires 
over which their news sped to London and the other 
news centres of the world. So many references tire 
made to this war in this volume and to the adventures 
of the correspondents who followed it, that but two or 
three episodes in the experiences of ViUiers in the 
campaign shall be related. 

The first fighting he saw was at the crossing of 
the Danube, and he there did one of his quickest 
sketches. Forbes told him he would be his postman 
if he could have a picture ready in twenty minutes. 



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168 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

It was a rough sketch necessarily but it was ready on 
the minute, and the Graphic had a quadruple page of 
the crossing as a result. When Forbes returned from 
Bucharest the two went with Amoldi's cavalry brigade 
on the invasion of Turkey. 

Now came one of the most adventurous nights c^ 
Villiors's career. The troop was near Bjela in camp 
in a gorge which cleft its way through a belt of hills. 
In the evening Circassian cavalry were seen in numbers 
along the crests. Nest day the enemy were found to 
be in such force that Amoldi became very anxious 
about his position. The troopers stood by their horses 
aU day long, firing from time to time at the enemy, wait- 
ing for the relief that ought soon to arrive, and then 
when the sun was sinking '* through the dust , specks (^ 
fire sparkled as the red glow glinted on the tips of 
bayonets." Par below the watching artist the tramp- 
ing infantry marched into the town and the enemy 
disappeared. 

That night VilUers, after dining with Amoldi, had 
to make his way back to his quarters at some distance. 
A score of soldiers, who had broken open several casks 
of liquor and in consequence were much intoxicated, 
arrested him, declaring, because of the imperfections 
of his Russian, that he must be a Turk. They pushed 
him into a cellar an inch deep in liquor and searched 
him, taking his sketches and purse and then hustling 
him out into the road. Two of them would have 
bayonetted him. but Villiers caught the cold steel 
with his hands and forced it aside, when the others 
protested that he should be kept in safety. Ultimately 
they took him to a bivouac of infantry where an officer 
recognized him and caused his belonginga to be restored. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



FREDERIC VILLIERS Ifi9 

He got back to his house fagged out and at once fell 
adeep. But the night was not yet over. 

"Presently," he says, "I was disturbed by a soft vel- 
Tety touch on my face, then came a gentle pressure of my 
hands. Thinking I was in the throes of a ni^tmare I 
sighed, and still slept. Now came a pinch and then a 
tweak of my nose. I sat up rubbing my eyes, and there in 
a ray of soft moonlight were two lovely damsels in pictur- 
esque robes-de-Duit, wringLng their hands and sadly moaning. 
On seeing me awake they rushed at me and shook me until 
I was fully aroused, then they pointed to the window, and, 
in language utterly uninteUigible to me, rapidly began 
talking. Their faces were full of fear and they seemed in 
great distress, so I arose, shook myself, and stood by their 
ade." 

He looked out upon a large number of drunken 
troopers engaged in the delectable occupation of 
looting the stores of Bjela. They staggered about, 
carrying torches made of fragments of doors and 
windows steeped in pitch. A number of them hatted 
in frcmt of Villiers's house. Forbes was away with 
defl[>atches, but his servant, Andreas, was in the nest 
room. Villiers found the husband of one of the 
women crouching in terror in a comer. Now the 
looters were hammering at the door. Villiers tried 
strat^y. He caused Andreas to throw open a window 
and tell the soldiers gruffly that this was the house of 
a Russian c^cer. But in an hour the depredators 
were back. Villiers then directed the cringing hus- 
band to blockade the door of the room with furniture, 
gave the women his revolver, and with Andreas went 
to the yard. They fiung open the door and allowed 
themselves to be dragged into the roadway, their 
clothing almost tolm from their bodies. 

A sentry saved them. He saw upon the artist's 



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170 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

arm the insignia of his profession bearing the imperial 
arms of Russia, and he understood the shouts of 
Andreas*. The ruffians stole hurriedly away. As 
day broke, Villiers went with the story to the 
colonel in command cA the camp above the town, 
and a rescue party arrived just in time to prevent the 
smashing of the barricaded door. Two dead bodies 
were found, both with blackened lips and blistered 
hands. Villiers looked at his boots; there were dark 
spots on them; his fingers went through them as if 
they were paper. They demanded of the landlord 
what was the wine he kept in his ceUars. He replied: 

"Honored stranger, I am a leather dressra-, and in 
one fA my ceUars I keep vitriol in bottles, for use in 
my trade; in another the wine of my country." 

The rioters had not been fortunate in their choice 
of cellars. 

Villiers became good friends with General Amoldi, 
fOT the soldier liked to sketch and they did many water 
colors together. One night the news man got a valu- 
able tip. "If I were a war correspondent," he was 
told, "I should not remain here, for you know, Mr. 
Villiers, there are other means besides fighting for 
taking a fortress." This was a puzzle to the artist, 
but Forbes understood and so they left next day for 
the Emperor's headquarters. Count Ignatieff there 
befriended them and suggested th«y should go and see 
the Russians take a place called ^evna! 

The general in charge of the left wing of the Russian 
army they found seated in the verandah of a small 
Bulgarian hut. On presenting their letter of intro- 
duction from the Count the g^ieral smiled grimly, 
and said, "Gientlemen, it is well you brought this note; 
I feel compelled to allow you to remain; personally 



..ogle 



FREDERIC VnJJERS 171 

I should have requested you to leave the camp, " and, 
while they looked wistfully at the sorant's preparations 
for dinner upon a plank placed a«3t>88 two barrels, he 
added, "Gentlemen, I am about to take my dinnn; 
good evening." They could not miss his meaning 
and bowed themselves away. No food was to be had; 
in an empty shack they smoked themselves to deep. 
It was a Russian count who had been a military 
attache at the Court of St. James who had compassion 
on them, for late next day he approached and said in 
English: 

"I know you miist be without food. If this pom: 
fare will be of searvice to you take it with pleasure." 
He produced a lump of dried meat and an omon from 
his podcets, and promised them later some bouillon 
at his tent. 

Many adventures did Villiers experience while 
waiting for the Russians to take that "place called 
Flevna." They took the place after one htmdred 
and forty-two days of tremendous fighting. Odd 
little incidents stuck in Villiers's memory. Years 
after he recalled the castaway kettle-drum stuck in 
the mud, rim uppermost. A Russian-Parisian friend, 
eyeglass in eye, used to begin, "Mon cber Villiers,*' 
and go on with his stories about Paris Grand Opera 
and pretty dancers, while shdls showered him with mud. 
After some time Villiers fell ill and became v»y weak. 
There was nothing he could better do than join the 
ambulance corps and oS he went to aid the wounded. 
That led to an incident which has been told at length 
by both Forbes and himself. 

AU one night he labored, requisitioning straw from 
bams and thatch from village houses for the wounded 
to lie upon. Many men were placed on litters and the 



1,. Google 



172 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

ambulance corps stood on guard round them until 
simrise showed them sale for the time. When morn- 
ing was well advanced Villiers turned his horse's head 
toward the Danube, for he had a valuable padtet of 
sketches to mail. 

About midday he came up with the head of the 
retreating army. The remnant of a force of 80,000 
men was crowding over a little bridge, crowding into 
a little valley beyond, and crowding through the passes 
still farther on. That was Osman Digna's opportunity 
to drive the demoralized Russians into the Danube, 
but for some reason he stayed at Plevna. 

Late at night Villiers urived at Sistova. He could 
get no shelter and fell asleep on the flags of the court- 
yard of the inn, his horse crunching com and tethered 
to his wrist. At dawn he crossed the bridge to Simnitza 
and hurried on to Giurgevo to catch the evening 
train for Bucharest. Within a mile of the station he 
found himself in danger. He was riding between the 
river and a deep trench in which there lurked shadows 
that frightened his horse. The Turks in Rustchuk 
used to fire every afternoon at the train as it departed 
for Bucharest, and today they amused themselves by 
bringing a gun to bear upon the lone rider struggling 
with a refractory horse to catch the cars. But while 
Villiers was in considerable pml of being hit, the shots 
helped him make the train, for the horse bolted and 
brought him to the station just in time to leave the 
animal in charge of a Cossack and leap aboard the last 
coach. 

Bucharest was reached about nine that evening. 
Unwashed for three days, Villiers was covered with 
dust, llie uppers of his long boots had almost worn 
through his riding breeches; he was stiff, weary and 



,,..,.,glc 



FREDERIC VILUERS MS 

hungry. He staggered into the pretty little garden 
of an hotel, where two gentlemen sitting undra the trees 
stared at him long and fixedly. 

Now (or Forbes'a account of the same episode. The 
battle aver, the correspondent had not been able to 
find the artist anywhere. No surgeon had seen him; 
no soldier recaUed him. Forbes had a bad night, 
dodging the marauding bands of the enemy, and with 
the dawn came the awful tidings that in the dftrVnPBm 
the Bashi-Bazouks had worked around the flank of 
the Russian picket line, had crept into the village, and 
had butdiered the wounded and the surgeons there. 
Forbes was in an agony of apprehension. Where was 
Villiers? He searched until Turkish sharpshooters 
stopped him. Every one said: "If he was in the 
viUf^ last night he is there now, but not alive." At 
last he had to ride for the wire with his message for the 
DaUff News. That was the ride in which he killed his 
horse, as is told elsewhere. 

His news despatched, the reporter got himself 
trimmed and cleansed into some semblance of fitness 
for the little Paris of the East. Friends of Villiers 
came seeking tidings of the artist. They held a 
consultation and agreed to wait a day before putting 
(m the wires the story c^ his death. Most of the day 
the fagged-out correspond^it slept. In the evening 
with W. Beatty Kingston of the DaUy Telegraph and 
others he went to the hotel garden for dinner. A 
bedraggled figure came in and a familiar voice called 
for food in a hurry. It was Villiers! 

That was a glad meeUng. Says Villiers: 

"Forbes turned around and uttered a short exclamation 
of surprise, and then, with the othoa, stared at me with s 
peculiar look that I shall never forget. I was suddenly 



l..„,„Anl,.GOOgIC 



174 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

arrested by this curious expression on th^ faces, and stood 
transfixed. Forbes rose from the table and walked with an 
incredulous gait toward me. When he came withio a yard 
he suddenly gave a shout of satisfaction and grasped me by 
the shoulder, shaking me all the while. " 

The Bashi-Bazouks that night had reached the 
village just after Villiers had left. 

At one other time he was supposed to have been 
slain. That was when Hicks Pasha was annihilated 
at El Obeid in November, 1883. The London evening 
papers announced the death of Villiers. And the 
artist "read the announcement in Fleet Street, while 
an acquaintance at the Savage Club was standing 
with his back to the fire holding forth upon the cam- 
paigns they had been through together." 

Of MacGahan also Villiers saw much and he 
talks of him to this day. Typhus was raging in 
Constantinople; throughout the city the funeral dirge 
was heard from sunrise to stmset, and in the evening 
the death boats with their cargoes collected from the 
mosques, would sail silently across the Hellespont to 
the old burial ground of Scutari, where in huge trenches, 
"unwashed and unshriven, the innocent victims of the 
cruel war were placed to rest." It was Villiers who 
notified Skobeleff of MacGahan's death. 

The next station in the itinerary of the " vagrant 
artist" was Malta, where he sketched the reviews of the 
troops from India. As the Indian troops came to the 
Mediterranean Russia sent what was ostensibly a 
pacific mission to Cabul. The Ameer refused to allow 
a British mission to visit him just at the time and 
England proceeded to force the mountain passes. In 
that Afghan War, Villiers shared the vicissitudes of 
the campaign with a native regiment. At Peshawr 



DigiUrrlbyGOOglC 



FREDERIC VnjJERS 176 

he again met Forbes, who was on his way to Burmah. 
VilUers found the fighting desultory and unsatisfactory, 
but he became fast friends with Sir Louis Cavagnari, 
whom he regarded as the most distinguished officer <ji 
the campaign, and after the peace was signed the 
officer gave him the pens with which the signatures 
were written. Australia was next; dinner with the 
Viceroy at Simla, P. and O. steamer from Bombay, 
then the exhibition at Sydney and then Tasmania 
and New Zealand, San Francisco and New York, 
and across the Atlantic to London — his first gLrdling 
of the globe. 

He settled down to paint and had a picture on the 
walls of the Royal Academy. Returning from Scotland, 
where he had been to visit Forbes, he found that 
Arabi Fasha was stirring up a revolt in the land of the 
Nile, and when the massacre in Alexandria took place 
<m June 11, 1882, he started once more on his wander- 
ing life. Thus began his long series of campaigns in 
Egypt and the Soudan, a series which ended only 
with the victory at Omdurman in 18d8. 

The exigences of the situation at Alexandria caused 
Villiers to accept the invitation of Lord Charles 
Beresf ord to take quarters aboard the gunboat Condor. 
In virtue of her short draught the boat was moored in 
the inner harbor under the shadow of the summer 
palace of the Khedive. There were all sorts of stories 
afloat as to the proximity of the ship to the palace; 
one was that if hostilities began she was to aid in the 
escape of the ladies of the harem. The only dangerous 
piece of ordnance possessed by Arabi was two hundred 
yards away. Beresf ord had hung every piece of spare 
iron and chain he had on board over the bulwarks, 
making a sort of chain armor for the vessel and giving 



DigitzrrlbyGOOgIC 



170 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

her a rakish list to starboard. Day and night a glass 
was leveled upon the cover of Arabi's cannon. 

Villiers has stud that he always has felt indirectly 
responsible for the events that followed. Admiral 
Sir Beauchamp Seymour had sent Axabi an ultimatum 
that if more guns were mounted in the forts the act 
would be r^arded as a cause for war. It was Villiers 
who brought the news that Arabi was mounting guns, 
and thus was precipitated the bombardment of the city. 
Says the artist: 

"One morning on landing on the Marina, I met a con- 
tractor for the navy who told me that some mysterious 
work was going on by Arabi in the direction of the old 
harbor. He thought that Arabi was mounting guns, and 
his brother, 'who lived in a house overlooking the Pharos, 
had heard strange noises dming the night, and in the morn- 
ing had seen soldiers making gun platforms and mounting 
cannon.' I hurried off to my friend's brother's house and 
saw from the balcony that the fort near the lighthouse was 
being quickly armed, though with the d^Ii^t the guns had 
disappeared. I took a sketch of what I saw, returned to the 
Condor, informed the commander, gave him my sketches, 
which he immediately took to the Admiral. Now simply 
being a correspondent my information could not be recog- 
nized officially, so a British officer dressed as an Arab was 
sent to the fort to confirm my stoiy. Be rowed ashtwe, 
landed, examined the fort and found my story true." 

The artist was aboard the Condor during the bom- 
bardment. There was a dinner on deck the night before 
that momentous event took place, attended by the 
captains of French, German and American ships, and 
many pretty things were said. To be ready for action 
there Temained nothing to be done but to oil the racers 
of the guns and to sand the decks that the men might 
have a firmer grip for their feet as they manned the 
muzzle-Ioad^s. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



FREDEBIC VnUERS 177 

During the bombardment the Condor's opportunity 
came and was seized promptly by hxx commander, for 
Beresford resolved to divert the fire of Fort Marabout 
then annoying the Admiral's ships. The Condor 
steamed in and the men eageriy stripped off their 
jackets. The pen of the artist told what the ship did 
ahnost as vividly aa did his pendl picture her service. 
Ja. his long description of the action there are many 
graphic passages: 

"As we neared the fort, and its terracea and embiasuns, 
bristling with Armstrong guns, loomed out of the morning 
haze, not a man aboard but knew the peril t^ our audacity — 
for a little gunboat. <me of the smallest in Her Majesty's 
service, to dare to attack the second most powerful fortress 
in Alexandria — but the shout of enthusiasm from the crew 
when the order was given to *Open fire!' readily showed 
their confidcaice in their bdoved leader. 

"Tha guns blazed aws^. The smoke hung heavily 
about the decks. The flash of the cannonade lit up for a 
moment the faces of the men. already bqpiimed with powder, 
and steaming with exertion, for the morning was hot and 
sultry. The captain from the bridge with glass in hand 
watched anxiously the tara at the gunners. . . . Thcai a shout 
from the men in the main-mast told us on deck that the 
shot had made its mark. Tlie httle ship quaked again with 
the blast of her guna. The men were now almost black 
with powder, and continually dipped their heads in the 
sponge buckets to keep the grit from their eyes. 

"One of our shots had fallen within the enemy's works, 
another had taken a yard of a scarp off — for a slight breeze 
had lifted the cloud of smoke, and all on board could plainly 
see the enemy working in their embrasures. The Arab 
gunners now trained one of their Armstrongs in our t^j-ection. 
Our engine bdl sounded and the Condor steamed ahead. 
A puff of smoke from the fort, a dull boom, a rush of shell 
through the air, and a jet of water shot up astern, followed 
iny a shout from our men. The enemy had missed us. . . . 
"The fire on the ships attacking Fort Mex slack e ned and 



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178 FAMOUS WAR COREIESPONDENTS 

soon ceased altogether. Irritated by the constant fire 
of the little Condor, the Egyptian gunners now devoted 
their entire attention to us. They set about slewing thor 
other Armstrongs in our direction. Their long blade 
muzzles slowly turned toward us. We looked at each othcTi 
and then some of us looked at the captain, for the situation 
was becoming critical. . . . In aa instant he decided and 
gave the order to run in closer; and we came witlun 1200 
yards. We all saw in a mcMnent the wisdom of the seeming 
audadty. We were well within their guard; though the 
Gippies blazed at us, th^ could only practice at our masts, 
they could not depress their guns suffid^tly to hull us. 

"We cheered again and agwn at their abortive attempts 
to get us; for a shot below water-marlc, with the lurch the 
Condor was already making with all ha guns abroadside, 
would have sent her down into Davy Joata'a locker in leas 
than ten minutes. 

"The Egyptians in their rage opoied fire with their 
smooth bores from the lower panqiet. The round shot 
would whistle through our rigging, making ua lie low awhile, 
but we would scramble to our feet again, dropping another 
nine-inch shell well within their works. Only once did the 
enemy touch us. . . . 

"All the time the navigating lieutenant, with eyes fixed 
on the chart, was calmly moving the vessel up and down a 
narrow torturous passage which we could distinctly see by 
peering over the side of the vessel, for the reefs on eith^ 
flank of the narrow channel glistened from out the blue 
black of the waters. 

"After we had dlenced two of the enemy's guns, and 
were then obliged to retire for want of ammunition, how the 
Admiral in return signalled 'Wdit dtme, CondorV is now a 
matter of history." 

At sundown, with John Alexander Cameron of the 
Standard, Villiers undertook to penetrate the city. 
They passed the British sentries and found at once 
how perilous was their enterprise; they stumbled about 
over debris and dead bodies. The night was lighted 
by the glare of burning houses; incendiaries and 



„,glc 



FREDEKIC VmiERS 179 

looters were at work. Afraid of attack, the two press 
men threaded their way cautiously through a labyrinth 
of narrow passages and at last reached the Place of the 
Consub. "It was one vast fiery furnace, a quadrangle 
oi flame," declares the artist. One amusing experi- 
ence befell them: as they looked upon the tokens of 
massacre which would appal the British news readers 
the following morning, they discovered, to their r^ef, 
that the headless bodies were merely dressmakers' 
dummies which had been deluded of their finery and 
left in the square. 

At one period in that night of adventures they 
really got ready for a fight for life; at any time a body 
of Labi's stragglers might attack them. When they 
heard the steady tramp of a score of men down a side 
street, Cameron knelt in the shadow of a shop and 
held his rifle poised for use and ViUiers stood by him 
with cocked revolver, but the challenge, when it came 
out of the darkness, was in good round English, and the 
correspondents found themselves in the presence of the 
American company of Bluejackets whom the Admiral 
of the United States Navy had landed to assist in the 
patrolling of the streets and the suppression of the 
looters and the incendiaries. 

There followed a trying time for the war correspond- 
ents. The news from Alexandria had worked the 
British public up to a high pitch of excitement, but 
after the bombardment things were dull for a while. 
Rumors vrere afloat in plaity; canards and "fakes" 
were printed, and editors were sliding out anxious 
messages asking why other papers bad had what pur- 
ported to be news and insisting upon knowing whether 
their own men had been beaten or not. While trans- 
ports were bringing British troops every day the 



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180 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

correspondents spent their evenings tt^ther at the 
hotel, in the sort of vigilant intimacy which keeps a 
very keen eye upon the men for all papers except one's 
own, eveiy man almost sick with fear lest some paper 
should get a scrap of real news that he himself mij^t 

In the middle of one night a London news writer 
routed \^llier3 out of bed and told him the men were on 
the march. He had a horse ready and engaged that 
himself and the artist aloae should get off with the 
column and they rode quietly out of the city between 
the rails of the railway and into the desert They did 
not witness much of an action as it turned out but at 
any rate there were but two London papers that had 
any account at all of the first skirmish of the campaign. 

Early in 1883 Villiers marched with General Sir 
Gerald Graham from the Red Sea coast for the relief 
of Tokar. Wading through liquid mud and sand over 
ankles and sometimes up to their knees, the men 
splashed on until they were in touch with the enemy. 
In the desert they found the rotting remnant of the 
army c^ Baker Pasha, the "Val" Baker whom Villiers 
had seen last in Constantinople. Indeed, in one of the 
heaps of bodies he found the corpse of a friend with 
whom he seven years before in Bulgaria had nearly 
met death from the fumes of a charcoal brazier. 

As the square moved on toward EI Teb to the 
weird screech of the bagpipe. Baker, wounded, stood 
by Villiers and watched, with tears in his eyes, the 
charge of his old r^ment. It was a desperate fi^t; 
black, fuzzy heads would pop up from pits in the sand, 
there would be the gleam of a ri6e and the puff and the 
whiz as the gun was fired, and the head would disappear, 
having been in sight barely for a second or two. The 



DigiUrrlbyGOOglC 



FREDERIC VILLIERS 181 

artist that day had another of his "close shaves." He 
was sketching a lad who was supposed to be beyond 
fighting, when suddenly the Arab sprang into the air 
and attacked him. ViUiers ran for it, trying to draw 
his revolver as he raced over the sand, with the boy so 
close at his heels that he felt his hot breath and heard 
the swish of the descending knife as his pursuer struck 
and missed. Still clenching the knife, the boy fell from 
the shot of one of the soldiers. 

ViUiers was in the broken square at Tamai. The 
night before that battle he slept with his revolver under 
his head, sprawled out on the sand and looking at the 
stars, noting how they grew fainter and fainter, how 
Venus and the Great Bear and Orion and finally the 
Southern Cross waned, until in the dawn a Scottish 
corporal came to him with a "wee drap" to drive the 
chill from his veins. When "Fuzzy Wuzzy" actually 
came bounding into the square, he says: 

" Bow I got out of that fight I haidly know to tlus ixy. 
A great source of anxiety to me was my horse — ananimat 
which was the only one I could procure at Suakin, and whidi 
had been ccmdemned by the mihtary authorities as unsound. 
He could stand on his tour legs and move, it was true, so 
to me he was better than nothing; but in an unlooked-for 
emergency such as this, he gave me grave amdety, for, not 
knowing his ptnnta, I was alws^'^ speculating as to what the 
brute would do next as I struggled through the human 
debris of the broken square. Once or twice as I lay flat 
on his back urging the i^nimnl forward with my spurs, Arabs 
would le^ out at me ready to strike with spears poised, but 
apparently refraining from risking a thrust at one who 
was moving so swiftly. I fired my revolver at any dusky 
form I saw emerging from the smoke, but still the figures 
flittered. Bcgulation revolv^^ are not much use agunst the 
Fuzzy Wuzzy. He seems to swallow the bullets and come 
up smiling, like the proverbial conjuror. ... If my horse 



182 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

bad gone lame or [di^ed any dicus tricks at that moment, 
a blanket and a narrow trench would have been my shroud 
and resting [Jaoe that ni^t. " 

The British and Khedival governments now decided 
to send a mission to King Johannea of Abyssinia, to 
solicit his assistance in the evacuation of the Egyptian 
towns on the Abysunian frontier by the EngUsii 
garrisons and Christian inhabitants, then threatened by 
the fanatical followers of the Mahdi. There was a 
rush of correspondents for the chance to penetrate an 
almost unknown region where there ought to be found 
an abundance of good copy and the material for many 
interesting pictures. Their numbers proved their un- 
doing, for when the British admiral was forced to fix 
limits he solved the perplexities of a choice by refusing 
to allow any to accompany the expedition. Villiers 
diplomatically refrained from making a formal applic&- 
tion and argued that he. therefore, had not been denied 
permission. Hurrying by the first steamer from Suakin 
to Massowah, he called upon the governor, who hap- 
pened to be an American who for years had been on good 
terms with the Khedive, and now was deputed as the 
Egyptian envoy for Abyssinia. Mason Bey listened 
to the story of the artist and at once attached Villiers 
to bis staff. As a result of this bit of raiterprise the 
correspondrait was made "a sort of under-secretary," 
and when on the afternoon of April 7, 1884, the flag- 
ships and forts of Massowah thundered their salute 
as the British admiral landed and was received on the 
palace stairs by Mason Bey, here was Villiers ready to 
start as the solitary representative of the press upon the 
long climb to the capital of King Johannes. 

The expedition up the Nile for the relief of Khai^ 
toum quickly foUowed, and the march across the 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



FREDERIC VnUEBS 183 

desert with Stewart and the battles of Abu Klea and 
Gubat. When General Sir Herbert Stewart was 
organizing the flying column of two thousand to make 
a dash across the desert at the news of the sore straits 
of Gordon at Khartoum, VilHera was in his tent. For 
that whole column tbe fight at Abu £Iea was what the 
artist called "a narrow shave." It was there that 
"Fred" Burnaby, the soldier and correspondent, was 
killed. That night the force pushed on for the Nile. 
'N^Uiers tells how Stewart ne^ day received his fatal 
wound, while " he was standing on a commissariat box, 
looking through his glasses at the encircling swarm of 
Dervishes stealing up through the bush from Metem- 
mah." The artist saw the general fall and was by his 
«de at once, although Frank Rhodes, the brother 9f 
Cecil Rhodes, was the first to minister to him before 
the surgeons came. 

Some weeks later when the army commenced to 
retire under the orders of the Gladstone government, 
ViUters took steamer from Wady Haifa but was wredted 
on his way down the Nile. He was obliged to make 
his way to Dongota "with nothing but a shirt, a 
blanket, and a pair <rf lawn-tennis shoes." Wandering 
about the streets in this sorry plight, he was found at 
length by a Greek who had formerly been his servant. 
The Greek took the artist to some of his compatriots 
who were baking bread for the troops, and in their 
camp Villiera was clothed and fed for many days, and 
finally the "merry, careless rogues" got him a camel 
and escorted him on a journey of twelve days to Haifa. 

In 1886 Villiers was back in the Balkans witnessing 
the Servian-Bulgarian fiasco which culminated at 
^rot. King Milan crossed the frontier only to be out- 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



184 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

flanked by the Bulgars and compelled to retire. When 
the final stand was made sUt Tirol the Servians were 
driven back at the point of the bayonet and "Prince 
Alexander of Battenberg would have carried out bis 
threat of eating King Milan's breakfast in Nisch the 
following morning but for Austrian intervention. " 

And now came one of the most thrilling daabes 
half round the world ever undertaken by a corre- 
spondent. A despatch from his paper ordered Villiers 
to Burmah. He left the capital of Servia one morning 
for Vienna and there caught the express for Venice, 
where he boarded the P. and O. liner for Alexandria, 
which in those days took on the mails at Brindlsi. 
In the Egyptian city he had time to drive about the 
torts which he had seen bombarded a few years before, 
and then he took the train for Suez, where he found the 
Bombay mail steamship ready to start on her voyage. 

Villiers was determined to catch the party of Lord 
Dufferin, "who had berai deputed by the British 
govemmoit to take over officially the Burmese territtfry 
recently annexed. " But at Suez the hurrying reporter 
was told that the ^^ceroy would have a four days* 
start and could not be overtaken. He determined to 
chance it, trusting to the luck which many times 
before had come to his aid. At Aden, sure enouf^, 
he learned that Lord DuSerin had been delayed by a 
slight illness in his journey down country to Calcutta 
and would not start for Burmah at the time first 
appointed. 

Reaching Bombay he found that by hurrying 
straight on he would be able to reach the capital on 
the very morning of the departure of the Viceroy for 
Rangoon. He must save evray minute, however, so 
he did not wait for the passenger boat, but made such 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC- 



FREDERIC VnUERS 185 

representations to the accommodating captain of hia 
steamship that he was allowed to go ashore on the mail 
tender. That is, Villiers was shot down the mail 
chute with the letters, and it is on record that he hit 
hard when he landed! 

At the railway station he sent a telegram notifying 
the Viceroy's secretary of his wish to go on with the 
vice-r^al party, and caught the mail express for 
Calcutta by less than a minute. It was hot traveling, 
indeed, on that special; he had left the Balkans with 
the thermometer below zero, and now the mercury 
was roistering 108 in the shade. A gigantic Sikh 
in the gorgeous livery of the Viceroy's establishment 
met him at the terminal and handed him a big, sealed 
letter. It conveyed the information that "His Excel- 
lency was unable to take on Mr. Villiers with his party, " 
that "numerous applications had been refused," but 
that "if Mr. Villiers traveled to Rangoon by mail 
steamer, on arrival at that port His Excellency would 
do all he could to assist him." 

And on the back of the note the perplexed artist 
found this scrawl in pencil: "There's a British India 
leaving an hour before the Viceroy — don't miss her. " 
Villiers made the train and the boat. Within the 
hour with his kit he was aboard the train for Diamond 
Harbor, where would be met the little mail steamer for 
Rangoon. Getting aboard the mail meant that pas- 
sengers with their baggage were carried out to row boats 
by stalwart sailors, to catch ropes thrown from a 
steamer which slowed down but never stopped. Bag- 
gage and passengers safely hauled up, the boats were 
ungrappled and the steamer made full speed ahead 
again. 

Like a lightning flash, there descended upon the 



Ogle 



186 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

ship as she crossed the Bay of Bengid a tremendous 
hurricane. Said ViUiers: "For a day and night it was 
touch-and<go whether we were going under, so terrible 
was the sea and so heavily laden was the ship. From 
brilliant sunshine a darkness fell upon us like the 
blackest of nights; tempestuous seas broke over us 
from all quarters, and for hours we expected funnel, 
masts, spars, and all deck gear to be swept into the 
boiling ocean." 

But the same storm delayed also the ship aboard 
which was the representative of the Queen, and Tilliets 
was landed shortly after Lord Dufferin's arrival in 
Rangoon. Now the artist had a half-hour with the 
Viceroy, who kept his word to do what he could for the 
news man, giving him permission to take a. bwth in the 
advance guard-ship of the vice-r^al flotilla of three 
vessels. On the night of his arrival Villiers took a 
train for Frome, where the railway ended on the banks 
of the Irrawady. Thence he went on by steamer up 
the shallow and uncertain stream, through vast forests 
(^ teak and masses of impenetrable jungle. From 
time to time glimpses w^« caught of the gold-tipped 
spires of pagodas and oft^i the tinkle of temple bells 
was heard out of the dense thicket. All was well, when 
on the afternoon t^ the second day the steam^p 
suddenly stuck midstream. 

The engines were reversed, but the paddles merely 
churned the waters to no purpose. The boat was 
firmly imbedded in a sandbank. The steamer of the 
Viceroy passed and the rear guard-ship was signalled 
to take the place ahead which had belonged to the 
vessel aboard which Villiers was standing half-dazed, 
watching the more fortunate boats disappear round a 



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FREDERIC VILUERS 187 

bend in the rivn. The goal was almost in sight, and 
he was to loae aft^ allt 

But the captain came to the rescue. Villiers was 
told that it was the custom ou that river for all ships 
to anchor at sundown. A small boat was offered him 
with a crew who would row all night if the rupees were 
numerous enough and the correspondent was firm 
enough. The river was a "sullen, inky black" when 
the boat was pushed off. VilHers was making himself 
as comfortable as possible when a new calamity 
overtook him. 

Water was coming rapidly through the bottom of 
the boat; bailing was of no avail. It was a case of 
foundering or getting back to the steamer, which they 
reached when water was actually oozing over the 
gunwale. They were saved from being swamped 
only by three of the crew leaping clear and clinging 
to the rigging of the ship. The boat had been hanging 
at the davits for months and had so warped that she 
was "simply a sieve." 

And then the captain declared that Villiers should 
have hia gig. Rupees spelled readiness on the part of 
the oarsmen, and in a few minutes the artist was pushed 
off once more. He reached the ship of the Viceroy 
juat at dawn, with the muzzle of hia revolver nestling 
against the neck of the Burman who acted as pilot. 
The native had manifested a tendency to doze, and for 
the boat to run ashore meant exposure to pirates and 
looters. When the pflot got sulky over Villiers's 
remonstrances he kept him awake only by threats. 

Lord Dufferin now received Villiers as a guest until 
the landing at Mandalay. The correspondent had 
been successful after all, having journeyed twelve 
thousand vales, and he reached the capital of King 



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188 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

Theebaw a good twenty-four hours in advance of the 
Queen's mails. Next morning came the great cere- 
mony at the palace. 

Now this world-wanderer spent some years in 
lecturing and he "covered" the Chicago Exposition of 
189S. goii% on the war path once more when China 
and Japan were at odds in 1894. Having again toured 
the globe as a lecturer and sketched the coronation 
of the Czar in 1896, he joined the Greek army in the 
little war with Turkey in 1897, using the bicycle and 
expmmenting with the <nnemat4^aph camera. Then 
having visited Crete, he joined the expeditionary force 
for the Soudan and found himself in familiar territory 
on the Nile. 

Throu^ all those campaigns '\^ers made his way, 
but there was not so much of color or incident in these 
later aq>editions for the reconquest of the Soudan. 
The host of war specials who went out to see the last 
of Mahdism found little comparatively to majce their 
narratives picturesque in the machine-like precision 
with which war was organized and conducted by the Sir- 
dar, nor were the reporters hdped any at headquarters 
in getting the news. Occasionally in very desp^ation 
they woidd concoct an outrageous tale, and go with it 
to the censOT, gravely simulating faith in it and the 
intention of wiring it to London. Then sometimes the 
authorities would deny so vehemently that they would 
get on the track of some real item of impcOtance of 
which th^ had had no inkling whatever. "But 
gratuitously," says Villiers," not a single piece of news 
of any importance was ever afforded to the [»ess." 
The achievement in that campaign in which be had 
most satisfaction was the taking of a bicycle to Omdur- 
man. The natives used to think the machine was aUve, 



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FREDERIC VILLIERS 189 

and when he blew a loud blast with the trumpet 
attached to the handle bars they would flee in terror. 

Late in 1895 Villiers waa in South Africa, where he 
found his friend, Frank Rhodes, formerly of the staff 
of Genial Sir Herbert Stewart, from whom he received 
a letter to Cecil Rhodes. Thus it came about 
that Christmas Eve was passed by the arUst as a guest 
of Cecfl Rhodes at the old Dutch residence at Groote 
Schuur. He dined sitting between Rhodes and Alfred 
Beit, and they amazed him by breaking open ordinuy 
envdopes and spilling from them scores of diamond 
which "capered about among the plates of the guests.'* 
The stones had just arrived from Amsterdam, where 
they had been sent to be cut. Rhodes took a liking 
to the artist and, through his secretary, almost insisted 
that he forego his intention to sail from Cape Town the 
next day. The times were too stirring, he waa assured, 
for him to leave South Africa just at that time. Villiers 
waited until the last moment, but no special message 
came, and, marvelling a little, the artist went aboard 
the steamer. Then at Madeira, when the telegrams 
with the news of the world were brought aboard, there 
was one which Villiers says "sent a thrill through every 
soul on the ship." 

This was the despatch which curtly described 
Jameson's raid into the Transvaal. And Villiers 
<^t«n dedared afterwards: "Then I knew that I had 
made one of the mistakes of my life; I ought to have 
remained." 

When the Boer War was in progress the correspond- 
ent with Mrs. Villiers visited Lady Randolph Churchill, 
who thai was in charge of the American hospital ship 
Maxne. ThA vessel was tied up at the quay in Durban- 
Lady Churchill's face wore a puzzled look as she read 



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100 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the names upon the cards. "Why," she said, "the 
Mr. Villiers I once knew is dead. He was decapitated 
in a recent campaign." Whereupon the artist was 
able to assure her that this story was "one of the 
little mistakes that get into the papers, " and but the 
latest of the series of erroneous obituary reports to 
which he had been subjected since the days when 
Forbes had mourned him in the Balkans. 

Once on shipboard Villiers had made a picture of 
Lady Randolph, who was a good shot, practicing, 
with some passengers and Japanese officers, firing at 
empty bottles slung over the stem of the vessel. Some 
years later yrben lecturing in the University Club in 
New Y(nk City he threw that portrait on his screen, 
when instantly the whole room stood up and cheered, 
to the surprise of the lecturer, who teamed later that 
he had been speaking in the very room in which Lady 
Randolph had appeared in private theatricab, for the 
club house had formf^rly belonged to her father. 

The Japanese-Chinese W^ was the most unsatis- 
factory of all the campaigns of this veteran special; 
there was scarcely any action and what fighting there 
was was one-sided. He was back at Port Arthur in 
the great war between the Mikado and the Czar. 
*'We were ten together,* he states, "when we were set 
down on the quay at Dalny in August, 1904." Among 
the ten were the specials for the DaUy Mail, the lUus- 
traied London Newa, the Daily Telegraj^, the San Fran- 
ciaeo Chronicle and the Associated Press. With James 
Ricalton and the CkrontcWs correspondent, Richard 
Barry, Villiers spent some time before the fortress with 
the army of investiture. He says that Barry left his 
office in such a hurry that he brought away nothing 
save what he stood in, together with a note-book and 



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FREDERIC VnJJERS 191 

some p^idla. Day after day VUliers made his observa- 
tions from the top of an ahnost perpendicular ridge, 
v^ch he managed somehow to climb; often he slept 
there. When at length the time came for him to leave 
he went with regret, declaring that he had never been 
treated with greater consideration and kindness by 
all ranks of an army in the field than by the Third 
Imperial Army of Japan. 

Today Villiers bdongs both to the old school and 
the new school of specials. He sees clearly that the days 
ot merely reckless valor in the gathering of war news 
have gone by, and that the correspondent of the future 
will have greater difficulty in getting his facts, and per- 
haps less opportunity for stirring and brilliant narrative 
and striking sketches. But VUliera is fond of his 
ezhilaratiiig profession, and delights in the perils and 
ev^i in the hardships that must be endured on the war- 
path. The little war between the Spanish and the 
Riff tribesmen called him in 1910, and in the last 
great struggle in the Balkans he did his stint of press 
work. Everywhere he goes he makes friends, whether 
he goes to sketch, to lecture, or merely for social 
purposes. He seems to have the secret of youth. 
And not only is he liked; he also is respected, for, 
believing absolutely in the moral value of publidly, 
he has stood imiformly in his work for the highest 
standards of humanity and truth>telling. Some day 
there will be a war without him, and very strange it 
will seem and very greatly will he be missed. 



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CHAFTEH VI 
BKNNET BUELEIGH 

"I fint met him oa the top of • kopje, when he lunded mehisouil in 
tiie middle of t, b&ttle. He impreued me much. He suggest* his name— 
a Ug, straw, keen fellow, with a powerful yoke, • nuui who todka in 
perfect health. He seemed to have great habits and to know ereiybody . 
He never hesitated to look thn>ii{^ Lord Hoberta'i telescope, or to share a 
C8mp«tool with General Fole-Cai«w." 

— Mortimer Mmvptt. 

of the South 



In the early part of the war between the States, 
there appeared one day at Richmond, the capital of 
the Confederacy, a young Scotchman in whose pockets 
were the plans for a submarine battery and the sketches 
for a torpedo boat. The brown-haired, blue-eyed, 
fair-faced adventurer was regarded with suspicion by 
the authorities, and had to spend several weeks in the 
city's Bastile, Castle Thunder. After a time, howevo', 
this soldier of fortune helped to fasten one of his tor- 
pedoes to the aide of a Union vessel, but the fuse failed 
to ignite, and later the captured device was exhibited 
in New York. He then put on the butternut uniform 
and fought in several of the important actions of the 
war, engaging with John Yates Beall, a graduate of 
the University of Virginia, in privateering enterprises, 
and twice having the sentence of death pronounced 
upon him. In Chesapeake Bay he planned and exe- 



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BENNET BURLEIGH 103 

cuted the capture at a Federal ateamer, whose flag is 
Qow in the public library of Richmond. For some 
time he was ill with malaria] fever in the Virginia 
city, and there he undertook his first literary work 
by writing for The Southern lUurirated Newa, and made 
an appearance upon the stage in D'Orsay Ogden's 
play called '"Hie Guerilla," Having undertaken a 
raid within the Union lines, he was surprised while 
tearing down tel^raph wifes to prevent the trans- 
mission of Northern messages. The attacking force 
was the Tlirty-sixth United States Colored Infantry, 
and vihssa but three of the raiders were left standing 
their leader was forced to surrender. He was wounded, 
and the papers upon his person exposed him to the 
charge of being a spy. With the penalty of the spy 
overhanging him he was imprisoned in a dreary locality 
at Fort Delaware, forty miles below Philadelphia. 

To this day there are Confederate soldiers who 
remembo' "Captain Bennet G. Hurley." The 
famous correspondent of the Daily Telegraph got his 
first experience of war in the conflict fifty years ago 
in America. He is known everywhere now as the 
qiedal who would have been awarded the Victoria 
Cross for his exploits in the Soudan, had it been possible 
for a "camp follower'* to win that coveted distinction; 
as the reporter who scored the great " scoop " after Tel 
el Kebir; as the "avilian" to whom the Blade Watch 
gave much of the credit for the saving of the broken 
square at Tamai; as the audacious correspondent who 
flagged a South African train to get an interview, 
and the clever strat^^t who "put over a beat" by 
the use of the Prayer Book; and no one really knows 
how many other feats are to be placed to his account, 
nor, to vary the inventory of his racploits a little, just 



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194 FAMOUS WAR CORIlESPO^fDENTS 

how many times he delighted himself and his 
comrades by hia abihty to cook a good meat pie in a 
tin wash basin when on the firing line. 

He had some difSculty inducing his family to permit 
him to leave the home in Glasgow for the States. His 
father was a master mechanic, and the devices which 
the adventurous youth carried across the ocean were 
his father's inventions. At Fort Delaware the prisoner 
found there was a sevra under his cell, and that the 
water cfmie up to the sleepers on which the floor rested. 
He managed to pry up several planks and with five 
others to wri^le through the opening. For a hundred 
and twenty-five yards they crawled in the sewer, 
diving under the sleepers as they came to them, their 
situation made almost desperate by the river's tide. 
At the mouth of the sewer two of his companions were 
captured; two others were drowned in the river; 
Burleigh himself swam five hours in the darkness and 
finally was picked up by a vessel whose commander 
professed to believe his tale of an upset while fishing. 
Making his way to Canada he again fell in with Beall 
and they plotted one of the most audacious enterprises 
of the war. 

In the midst of the Russo^apanese war Justice 
Brown of the United States Supreme Court declared 
himself to be watching the news from Manchuria for 
some "wild adventure" c^ Bomet Burleigh, in whom 
he was interested because forty years before he had 
secured his extradition from Canada. This was after 
the failure of the attempt of Beall and Burleigh to 
hberate the Southern soldiers held at Johnson's Island, 
near Sandusky, in Lake Erie, as prisoners of war. 
The 2000 Confederates were quartered in a stock- 
ade of fiftera acres, guarded by blodc houses. The 



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BENNET BURLEIGH 105 

plotters intended to enter Sandusky Bay and attat^ 
tbexe the only Union war vessel in the neighborhood 
which they knew to be wdl provisioned. They took 
passage in a small steamer out of Detroit, bringing with 
them an old trunk bound with ropes which contained 
their armament of hatchets and revolvers. Burleigh 
on the bridge diatted afEably with the captain until 
the right moment came for him to hold a revolver 
to the officer's head and demand the surrender of the 
ship. At Middle Bass Island a larger steam« CEime 
alongside them with twenty-five unarmed Union 
stddiers cm her decks. A dozen shots and they were 
masters of that vessel also. Passengers and crews 
were put ashore, the two boats were lashed abreast, and 
five miles out the larger was scuttled and cast adrift. 
But now, just at the crisis of their venture, a messenger 
from Canada failed them, and all in the party weakened 
but Beall, Burleigh and two others. Even before they 
started on their dangerous enterprise their plans had 
been betrayed by a pn^essed Confederate refugee 
in Canada. 

It was necessary to abandon their boat on the 
Canadian shore and discreetly disappear. Rewards 
were placed upon their heads; their crime was held 
to be piracy. Beall was ^prehended and hanged 
an Governor's Island in New York Bay. The reward 
for Burldgh's capture was large and evoitually he 
was tak«i in Canada. On a technical charge of robbery 
his extradition was ordered, but the United States 
did not then venture on the more serious charge because 
it was a question if piracy coidd be committed on Lake 
Erie. In the standard works upon the l^al issues of 
extradition there is much space given to the cajse of 
young Bivleigh. He was taken to Detroit, whoe he 



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196 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

was imprisoaed for six months, "and then to Port 
Clinton, Ohio, where he waa held for three months. 
During this period a question of international law was 
under discussion. The father in Glasgow had sought 
British intervention. Several times the young man's 
life was in jeopardy. Finally there was a trial and 
the jury disagreed. At last Burleigh settled matters 
in his own way — he became friends with the sheriff; 
his company was agreeable to the people of the town; 
his mail was handed to him through a jail window, 
saving the sheriff the possible embarrassment of examin- 
ing the letters of his rather compromising friend. One 
day a file came through the window in a pie. Helped 
from the outside, this British subject escaped to Detroit 
and across the river to Canada. Everybody was glad 
he got off, and when before long the war ended, no 
one pushed to a conclusion the adjudication of tiie l^al 
points in lus case, which, as a result, is still open. 
Justice Brown related the story in detail a few years 
ago, and said that Burleigh remembered the sheriff 
and sent him money after a time, and that other 
residents of the neighborhood were recipi^its of tokens 
of the appiedaUon of the bold yotmg Scotchman. 

The war was over, and Burleigh made hb way to 
Texas, where he is supposed to have done his first real 
journalistic work as one of the editcH^ of the Houston 
TeUffrapk. Then for some years he did newspaper 
work in Brooklyn, and at least one celebrated trial 
was assigned to him. But hb love of war was ingrained. 
His massive figmv, remarkable powers of aidurance, 
and zest for dangerous adventtu^, all indicated the 
kind of life which would make the strongest appeal 
to him. He also had remarkable facility for picking 
up dialects and languages. About 1878, he returned 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



BENNET BURLEIGH 197 

to England, and in 1881, he foiuid hia real vocation 
in Egypt, b^inning his work as a war correspondent 
when he must have been nearly forty years old, although 
be was never willing to make very definite statements 
as to his age. At the bombardment of Alexandria 
he was the correspondent of the Central News. The 
managing editor of the Daily Telegraph, Mr. John M. 
Le Sage, was sent to Egypt to arrange for the strengthen- 
ing of the paper's staff there, and upon his representa- 
tions of the diaracter and work of Burleigh the paper 
acquired the famous correspondent. Burleigh was coa- 
nected continuously with the paper from early in 188S 
until his retirement from active duty at the end of 1913. 

In 1898, Bennet Burlei^ was able to say: '* I have 
been an eye-witness during the course of slU the cam- 
paigns in the Soudan in which British troops have 
been employed. . . . From the beginning to the death 
of Mahdiam I have followed British and Egyptian 
troops into action against the dervishes. I knew 
Greneral Hicks, but had the good-fortune to miss 
accompanying his ill-fated expedition.*' 

In the memorable night march and the surprise 
which terminated the power of Arabi Fasha, Burleigh 
had a share and the despatches which he sent to his 
piqier gave Ixmdon the first news of those events. 

Tliat night <A S^tember 12 was moonless and the 
desert was wrapped in a grey f^oom which the eye 
could not pierce. Due west from the camp of Sir 
Garnet Wolseley a line of engineer telegraph posts 
had been erected for a half-mile or more. As the 
advance, or guiding column, moved away from the 
camp, these posts would start them in the ri^t direc* 
tion. At the end they would swing clear and march 
by the stars. The total distance to Arabi's entrench- 



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198 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

mmts was ^ miles. At one-tliirty in the nunning 
the column started and moved forward for less than 
an hour, aa a sort of experimental irm-ryT^- The plan 
worked marvdlously well. The stars were brilliaat. 
A naval officer steered the army in dose framation 
with accuracy; there was no confusion. After a brief 
rest the march was resumed. The ni^t now was 
very dark and the stars which had been used for 
guidance a few hours before were below the horizoa. 
But the pole star was always visible and furnished a 
fixed point upon the celestial cdiart. For an hour 
absolute sflenoe reigned. During that final hour the 
tension became very severe; guiding stars dn^ped 
bdow the horizon one by one and others higher in the 
heavois had to be selected. These at times were 
covered by douds, but the pole star over the right 
shoulder and the star in front for which the column 
was aimed, were never blotted from sight at the same 
time. 

What might easily have been an awful catastrophe 
was averted by the good discipline of the force. An 
order for a few minutes halt was issued. At once 
the centre companies stopped, but the order required 
a little time to reach the outermost companies on the 
flanks, and they continued to advance, always keeping 
in toudi with the men next in toward the centre. 
When all were halted, therefore, the force lay on the 
desert almost in a half-drde, and as the word to 
start was given again the companies on the flanks 
moved forward and found themselves face to face. 
In the dim light a sin^ false move might have pre- 
predpitated terrible consequences. At precisely the 
instuit desired the camp of the unsuspecting Egyptians 
was reached. A mngle shot broke the dead siknce. 



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BENNET BURLEIGH 198 

five minutes after tte firing of that shot, the dawn bad 
b^im and after five more minutes the entire landscape 
was revealed, for the desert dawn is very short. 

The instant the battle was over Burleigh b^gan 
a rapid survey of the trendies, and in a short time 
acquired a comprehensive notion of the disposition of 
the troops and the nature of the ground over which 
th^ had fought. Without losing a minute he b^^ 
a hard ride to Kassassin across the desert, where he 
knew he could command a telegraph wire. Ova* this 
he sent the first intimation of the battle which London 
received, following it up with a long account of the 
action. The message off, he remounted and made 
all speed bade to the battl^round, where he learned 
that the cavalry brigade had be^i ordered to Cairo. 
^e rode on alone with such speed that he reached the 
dty even before the advanced guard, finding Axabi 
a prisoner and the war at an end. 

He hurried to the wire, but it was impossible to send 
a despatch by the native operators. He therefore 
borrowed a horse and started again for Kassasain. 
"nirough the night he rode, Egyptian soldiers occasion- 
ally firing upon him, and Arabian robbers onoe or 
twice attempting his capture, and when at length 
with ten miles of desort between him and the end of 
the wire his horse broke down, he tramped the balance 
oi the distance cm foot, and wrote and sent away another 
important despatch. 

Thus in the courae of two days he had ridden one 
hundred and forty miles, most of the time through 
hostile and desert country, and during this period he 
had gone entirely without sleep. It was an exploit 
entirdy worthy at Archibald Forbes and it scored the 



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200 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

greatest best (^ the time. B^met Burleigh had 
** brokm into the game" with a vengeance. 

TCthin a few years Burleigh revisited the land of 
the Nile several times. He was with the small army 
commanded by General Sir Gerald Graham intended 
to relieve the Egyptian garrison beleagu^vd by 
Osman Digna at Tokar. The enemy had guned three 
successive victories and Graham had to face bold 
and confident men. On February 15, 1883, the ^lecial 
left London with a party of British o£5ceTs and hurried 
at desperate speed to overtake Sir Redvers BuHer, 
who had started three days before to aid Graham. 

The train from Calais brought Burleigh to Brindisi 
on the night of the second day from London. He 
wired Port Said for a steam launch to meet lum on 
the arrival of his steamer and take him through the 
Suez Canal. In the early evening of the fourth day 
the little launch came alongside the ship before she 
lost way entirely, and with four officers, who were 
equally anxious, Burleigh hurried aboard, bag and 
ba^age. At midnight on Lake Timsah they were 
struck by a terrific squaU and the Maltese crew 
fastened their launch to one of the beacon boats. 
After a time they were forced to start ahead in the 
thick darkness, and, although they went aground twice, 
they finally found the entrance to the canal on the 
(^posite side of the lake. They dreaded lest the Egyp- 
tian man steamer for Suakin ^ould leave Suez before 
thdr arrival in the mcnning. From each of two wscy- 
stations they wired for the boat to be held, but the^ 
arrived in time and found that a large number of refu- 
gees from the army oi Baker Pasha had been brought 
by the vessel from Suakin and that the departure had 
bem delayed for a couple of days. Luckily^ bowever^ 



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BENNET BUBLEIGH 201 

Bulla- bad also been retarded and his boat bad only 
kft the previous evening. They waited not upcm 
ceremony but without any invitation piled aboard a 
hired transport whidi was to sail that night. The 
skipper looked unutterable things until he learned 
that his unexpected passengers were up to anything, 
even to sleeping on deck, when he smiled once more. 
The decks were loaded with stores and the hold was 
packed with mules. As they made their way inside 
the leef at Suakin a steam launch came out and 
a naval lieutenant told them that Buller's vessel was 
not in yet and tbat no battle had been, fought. With 
the lieutenant for a pilot they headed full steam inside 
the reefs for Trinikat, where they arrived in five hours 
at two (m the afternoon of February 26, deven days 
from London, and in good time for "the fun." 

Burl^gh procured the first requisite of the corre- 
spondent, a pass properly signed and authenticated. 
Next he investigated the telegraphic facilities and 
found that they were very unsatisfactory; all despatches 
had to go to Suakin, the nearest station, and there 
was but one steamer a day to that port, leaving always 
on or before two in the afternoon. Then he was off 
with the troops for Fort Baker. That was a march 
in the mud, and Burleigh describes the droll spectacle 
of the men wading through water and slush with not 
only their shoes and stockings dangling about their 
nedts but their kilts or trousers as well. 

At eleven that night Burleigh stretched out booted 
and spurred and covered with a blanket, ready for the 
bu{^ call for the battle of El Teb. In the square were 
the Giordon Highlanders and the Black Watch, with two 
other raiments, and a naval brigade with cannon at 
the comers, making more than SOOO men in all. Thna 



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302 FAMOUS WAR COEBESPONDENTS 

formed they b^an their march at five in the morning. 
The fighting was severe, at times "ahnost a melee of 
bayonets against spears." A few of the Arabs got 
within five yards of the square, but they were forced 
back toward the ten mud-holes known as the wells of 
Teb, where they made their last stand that day. 

Again Burlcogh was first with the news. He was 
driven almost to distraction by the slowness of a censor 
who was cutting down his estimates of the wounded 
and slain, which the special had already understated. 
At last he got his viak and was off on the gallop tor 
Trinikat, eight miles away, coming in with the first 
news of the action. But the man on whom he depended 
for the forwarding of despatches failed him and there 
were anxious hours of waiting. At length he devised 
a new scheme, scribbled his despatch once more in 
long hand, intending by duplication to lessen the 
chances (rf miscarriage, and hired a hardy and trusty 
Arab runner to make the trip to Suakin. No steamer 
would sail from Trinikat for Suakin unto the ofiScial 
despatches were ready, which would be early the follow- 
ing morning. At eight in the evening the runner was 
off, with plenty of hard money and a supply of pass- 
ports, and the promise of additional rewards if he was 
in Snaldn by the following dawn. Burleigh rode 
some distance with him, and he was chased by Egyp- 
tians during the night, but before seven he was at the 
telegraph t^ces at Suakin. There the senior naval 
officer read the message and forwarded to Ixindon a 
brief abstract of its contents, b^finning with the 
statement that a "native messenger had arrived with 
news of the army from the correspondent (^ the Dai^ 
TeUgra-ph," and ending with the explanation that 
"official confirmation is expected by steamer." Hius 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



BENNET BURLEIGH 203 

Burieigh's paper was able to give the news to the world 
in advance of all othera. 

Two natives hired as nurners, and a servant em- 
I^oyed as a special express, went with Burleigh when 
the advance against the enemy was resumed. From 
time to time the press man rode away by himself in 
the desert, and he has described his outfit for such 
ventures. He wore a dark blue suit, crammed his 
pockets with biscuits, took care to be provided with 
the inevitable tooth-brush and carbolic soap, jammed 
a towd into his holster, and carried as a matter of course 
a water bottle, a pair of field glasses and an army 
revolver. When servants were with him he would 
scoop a hole in the loose earth, lay his waterproof 
sheet therein, and get his r^ular bath in the water 
poured into the sheet from the skins carried by hia 
men. 

Now came the battle of Tamai, in which this 
special rendered a real service to the arms of England. 
The troops slept on a waterless plain, within an en- 
dosure made of mimosa bushes. These were cut 
before all the four faces of the square, leaving an open 
space of almost a hundred yards across which the enenky 
would be in full view if they undertook to rush the 
camp. Within the square of thickly-piled bushes the 
men lay down two deep with the officers in the rear, 
and sentinels patrolling between the hedge and the 
sleepers. It was a bright moonlighted night and 
Burleigh was able to write descriptive passages without 
recourse to artificial light. 

This was the battle of the broken square of Kipling's 
stirring stanzas. In moving terms the correspondent, 
who also was one of the historians of that campwgn, 
txAd how the enemy crept up under the cover of 



DigiUrrlbyGOOglC 



204 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the smoke and the sloping ground, how hundreds 
of Arabs came bounding ovct the rocks spear and sword 
in hand, how half their number were shot down but 
forty or more were able to throw themselves on the 
British bayonets, when quick as lightning the rush 
increased and in an instant as it seemed the Sixty- 
fifth gave way and began to fall back. He related 
how the marines were thrown into disorder and back 
everybody was borne in a confused mass, how the 
graieral and his staff tried to rally the troops, how 
"even the Forty-second" was thrown into confusion by 
the general disarrangement of formations, and how the 
machine guns had to be abandoned, althouf^ the 
Bluejackets managed to remove the sights and tem- 
porarily disable the pieces. The forces were borne 
back about eight hundred yards. 

I have talked at length about this battle with one 
of the men of the Black Watch, the Forty-second 
Royal Highlanders, and he, expressing, he declares, 
the sentiments of the entire r^ment, says that Bur- 
lei^ was one of the real heroes of the day. The 
correspondent was with the commander of the Black 
Watch when the Arabs were charging to within five 
yards of their line. He glanced to the right and 
"ejaculated in language more forcible than choice" 
that the Sixty-fifth were giving way. At once he 
galloped to tiieir side of the square. The Arabs 
were bounding like deer through the thick smoke, 
"with hair on end, eyes gleaming, white teeth shining," 
looking like "infuriated demons bounding upon the 
soldiers like figures in a shadow pantomime." They 
were all over that side and comer of the square, and 
in an instant were "at the guns and among the men, 
thrusting, cutting, stabbing, with desperate energy." 



n,g,i.n.b,.G00gIc 



BENNET BUBLEIGH 205 

They had found a small opening -where the square was 
not perfectly joined, and the men "recoiled before 
that avalanche of fierce savages." Let the story be 
told in Burleigh's own language and at length. He 
said: 

"It was a time when one's country was of far greater 
importance than his professional calling, so I did what I 
could for the former during the surging five minutes that 
ensued. I rode 'about in the broken line of the Sixty-fifth, 
where General Graham and other officers were, striving 
to get the soldiers to close up and fire steadily. 

"At the moment we were hardest pushed, I saw an old 
acquaintance. Captain Rutherford of the Sixty-fifth, left 
almost without bis company, erect, bare-headed, sword 
in hand, facing the shouting, jubilant Arabs, and hoarsely 
calling, 'Men of the Sixty-fifth, close up.' I shouted to 
him, and even in that roar and rush found time to exchange 
a word or two with him as to what was best to be done, 
ere turning again to invite the soldiers, who were showing 
a bold front to the foe, to aim and fire carefully. , , , 

"Still, on the enemy came, yelling and screaming with 
diabolic feroci^. The gaping wounds made by our almost 
explosive Martini-Henry bullets scarcety checked the savages 
in their wild career. It was only when the lead shattered 
the bone of a leg, or pierced heart or brain, that their mad 
onrush was stopped. I saw Arab after Arab, through 
whose bodies our bullets had ploughed their way, charging 
down on the square, with the blood spouting in pulsating 
streams from them at every heart throb. . . . 

"Others there were whose life-blood ebbed ere they 
reached our men, who fell within a pace or two of the soldiers. 
The last act of these warriors was invariably a despairing 
effort to hurl the weapon th^ carried at the moment in 
their hand — stick, spear or sword — at their English foe- 
men. A savage gleam shown in their fac«, defiant, unre' 
tenting, hating, as they gathered all strength to thus make 
their last blow at us. Who could but admire and applaud 
such dauntless bravery? Those of us privileged to witness 
it, and the awful spectacle of those five minutes, can never 



ogle 



206 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

forget H, or oease to remember the gniwl, wlf-sacrifidng 
<!6urage of the brave Hadendowai. 

"As b&ckward the ri^t face and comer of the Sixty- 
fifth were borne from the nullah's edge, and the indent 
or little gully, the right wing of the Forty-second was left 
exposed, and the savages were among the Highlandos on 
thor flank and rear in a twinkling, cutting and spearing 
in every direction. Still falling back, in a line to the east 
of that taken on our advance from the sareba, the Marines 
who were in the rear of the square were wheeled up to the 
support <A the Kxty-fifth and to close the gaps in our for- 
mation. It was too late for the movement to be executed 
niccesBfully, and th^ too were thrown into disorder, and 
woe bnne away from the nullah on the line of retreat. 

"As that fine body of men were being sw^>t away, 
Miqor Colwell roared in stentorisiL tones: 

'"Hen of the Portsmouth division, rally!' Rally they 
did. about one hundred and fifty of them closing together 
in a compact body, forming a little square. These were 
the last to retire and take their positions in the rdormed line. 

" In the right coma* d the square, or what once was a 
square, were now inextricably mixed men of the Six^-fifth, 
Blue-jackets, Marines and a few Highlanders. It was not 
a rout, but a retreat; for our soldiers kept loading and 
firing, although there was no semblance at the time of an 
orderly military line; but in place thereof, facing and fighting 
the enemy, were an irregular body of m^i in rather open 
order on what was the west face of the square. Numerous 
melees occurred, where with fist and foot the soldiers mauled 
the savages. The Arabs threw themselves on our m^i, 
grasping th^ riflest and in one instance actually tearing 
off a Highlander's kilt in the tussle. . . . 

"For a brief interval it was the innings of Osman Digna's 
followers, and they noted in cutting and slashing. Every 
soldier who stumbled or fell was done for, the enemy darting 
in squads for these unlucky ones, thrusting their speais 
into them. As they followed us closely up, they new 
missed an opportunity to drive their weapons into the body 
of any soldier lying on the ground iriui exhibited the slimiest 
aignaoflife. . . ." 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



BENNET BURLEIGH 807 

Hitou^ all that stnig^e the voice oi Burid^ 
was heard when other voices could not be distinguished. 
He did some fighting, but his chief concern was to 
assist in the pTevraiting of a panic and to hold the men 
and aid in getting them reformed. "I was an eye- 
witness to scores of instances of heroism," he saya. 
When the advance was begun again he attadlied him- 
self to the right of the line and he rode with the colonel 
in command of the Marines, who had but one mounted 
oflBoer kit. Thereupon the special felt warranted in 
(Bering his own services. 

A few minutes before noon the battle was over. 
The foe had run amuck, but they had been beaten; 
the camp of Oaman was in the hands of General Graham 
and th^c he prepared to rest and bivouac The 
instant the operations were ov» for the day the corre- 
q>ondent was again the newspaper man. He dis- 
moimted and picked his way about among the dead, 
rou^ily estimating numbers, and making notes of 
the names of officers. 

This done, and a rapid surv^ of the field having 
been taken, he was for the wire. General Graham 
did him the honor of asking that he carry his own 
messages. From the khor to the sea Burleigh galloped 
at top speed, and by two that afternoon his Arab horse 
had brought him to the telegraph station. But alas! 
there was no help for it. he had to yield the right of 
priority; the official despatches went off first. Before 
his arrival there were all sorts of rumors floating about 
guakin. Fragments of news had been hdiographed 
from the zarebaa, and, founding their judgm^its as 
well as the mirage would permit upon the retreat of 
the troops, it had been supposed that the British were 
routed. Admiral ^wett had found it necessary to 



DigitzrrlbyGOOgIC 



808 FAMOUS WAR CORBESPONDENTS 

stop messa^ies for England based on these rumors. 
Not until the arrival of the correspondent with the 
despatch of General Graham did the truth become 
knovn. 

Burl^gh got off his first message at cme-forty-five 
on March 13; the second went at two-thirty; the third 
at five-thirty ; the fourth at dawn the following morning; 
the fifth at eight-ten that morning; and at six-fifty 
in the evening he began a final despatch with the 
words: "I have just returned the second time tnm. 
Tamai." 

For hb services upon the Crordon Relief Expedititm, 
Buiidgh won the honor coveted of all soldi^s, a maition 
in the official despatches, and it is said that if the 
conditions under which it is granted would have per- 
mitted he would have been awarded the ^^ctoria Cross. 
Through aU the night hours before the Battle of Abu 
Klea the droning of the tomtoms and the wild cadences 
of the Moslem chant, with the intermittent firing of 
their Remington rifles, came from the low hills in front 
of the camp of Grcneral Stewart, where 1400 men, 
wearing their overcoats and wrapped in blankets, 
were sleeping with guns imd^ their hands luid bayonets 
fixed. Before dawn there were four separate alarms 
which brou^t the whole force to thdr feet. In the 
battle of the following day the correspondent was 
very near Colonel Bumaby wheai that officer fell, 
fighting valiantly, and Burleigh's despatch contains 
the most complete account of his death. 

In the next battle Burleigh was twice hit. "Hie 
troops had marched all night and built their zareba 
right in the lair of the enemy, about four miles from the 
Nile. Shortly after the fighting began, as the British 
were replying with machine guns to the fire of the 



DigiUnlbyGOOglC 



BENI^T BURLEIGH 309 

foe. Melton Prior heard a loud thud, and immediately 
Burleigh was yelling to the artist: "Pick it out, 
IMor, pick it out!" and at the same time clawing at 
his neck. He had been struck by a ricocbetted ball 
just imder the ear and soon there appeared a big black 
lump half the size of a diicken's egg. The pain and 
shodc were so great that Burleigh could hardly be- 
lieve there was nothing in bis head to "pick out." A 
wound in the foot proved to be rather more serious. 

In the square at Abu Km there are said to have 
been less than a thousand men against ten times that 
ntmiber. But the square held, the foe were thrown 
back three times and finally stampeded. In one 
episode of that bitter struggle forty officers and m^ 
took their orders from "Mr. Burleigh" by direction 
of th^ superior. This was when upon the advice of 
the correspondent, the little detachment sallied forth 
under a galling fire with bores and spades to construct 
some detached fortifications. A soldier who fought 
there has toM me that when volunteers were asked 
for a taak which seemingly meant certain death, the 
first to offer, with possibly an exception or two, was 
Burlei^. As a part of their fortification they con- 
structed a breastwork of biscuit boxes. The loss was 
very heavy in that battle. John Cameron of The 
Standard was shot while sitting between two cameb 
at his lunch; St. L^er Herbert of the Morning Post 
was killed also, and the correspondents were among 
those who wept silently over the wounded General 
Sir Herbert StewarL The foe once routed. Prior and 
Burleigh went to work to help cany the wounded to 
the new camp on the Nile. 

The desperate advance was all in vain. Those 
were the days when, to quote the Daily Telegraph, 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



210 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

"all Christendom turned its eyes to that lonely English- 
man, Gordon, at Khartoum." The telegraph wires 
north of Khartoiun were cut, of course, and communi- 
cation between the sentinel of the Soudan and the 
force fighting its way to his rescue was precarious. 
Hirough the entire period the despatches sent by 
Burleigh were read with intense interest. When Gror- 
don managed to get a steamer throu^ to Metemmah 
the special succeeded in communicating with h^ 
before all others. 

Alas! just a week after the battle of Gubat the 
news came that the gates of Khartoum had been <^iened 
to the Mabdi and that Gordon had been slain. Now 
the anxiety of the British public was focussed upon the 
little Desert Column and the chances of their making 
a safe retreat from a position made trebly perilous 
by the fall of Khartoum. The Mahdi's men were 
jJanning to cut o£F their retreat, and Sir Bedvers Buller, 
who had succeeded to the command, was putting 
forth strenuous exertions to extricate them. On 
Saturday, February 21, 1885, there appeared in the 
Daily Telegraph a statement of the dire straits of the 
force away up the Nile. That day the British people 
were almost in a state of panic. After midnight on 
Simday, February 22, a message reached the newspaper 
office stating that the column had reached a place of 
safety. Thereupon it was determined to do an un- 
heard of thing, — issue a Sunday edition. On their way 
to worship that morning congregations learned the 
good news from the Daily Telegraph's extra, and their 
report anticipated the official despatches by thirty-six 
hours. 

This announcetnmt was made possible by the enter- 
prise of Bennet Burleigh. He had noted the success- 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



BENNET BUBLEIGH 211 

ful consummation of the early arrangements for the 
withdrawal of the column, and then had galloped with 
a amall party across the desert, reaching the quarters 
of liOrd Wolseley at Korti on February 90. But he 
had taken the precaution to aend a telegram from 
Gakdul in the late afternoon of the preceding day, 
while the Command^-in-Chief did not wire from 
Korti until mid-afternoon of Friday, the twentieth. 
Thus Burleigh was able to place to his credit another 
oS the exploits which earned for him his fame. 

He was back in Egypt in 1807, having meantime 
reported several campaigns for his paper, in order to 
be on hand if a sudden dash should be made for Khar- 
toum by the army of the Sirdar because of some un- 
expected lapse in the power of the Mabdi's successor, 
the Khalifa. The best chance for good news stories 
just at the time seemed to be indicated by the known 
intention <A the Khedival troops to occupy Kassala, 
about three hundred miles to the east of Khartoum. 
Burleigh set out for that place, intending to make 
a trip which no European had adventured for fourteen 
years. But the Sirdar refused the requisite permission 
and donkeys and camels were not to be had of the 
natives, who were unwilling to displease the Com- 
mander-in-Chief. He must, therefore, go by sea to 
Massowah and pass through the Italian colony of 
Eritrea. 

There would be no steamboat leaving for that port 
for months, so he hired a sambuk, a large open native 
boat, to make the voyage of three hundred nules, and 
"a raggedy-higgledy-piggledy craft" it was, "fitted 
up with what might have been the sweepings of a jimk 
shop," with an aged sheikh as a pilot and a crew of 
seven Arabs and n^roes. It was blowing great guns 



ogle 



212 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

when tbey started and the skipper was undergoing 
"as many changes of colour as a chameleon." But 
they landed on the third day and set out the same 
evening through dense darkness and rain, upon the 
first stage of the overland journey. Through the 
night they clambered among the rocks, the mules 
scrambling along like cats, the correspondent on foot 
and falling three times in as many minutes, finally 
entmng Gindah, twenty-five miles inland, at five in 
the morning, entirely exhausted. They scaled the 
great mountain plateau oi Abyssinia, and after a week 
of adventiuxtus joumeyings settled down in tented 
comfort upon the plain of Kassala. Burleigh enjoyed 
a deal of sport through his stay and slept with lions 
and leopards sniffing about his campfires. But the 
Egyptian troops were sent to Wady Haifa for the 
Dongola campaign, and Burleigh returned to Suakin 
and thence to Curo and London, expecting to spend 
several months at home. 

It turned out that he was to spend but a few days 
in England, for important events were impending. 
The Daiiy Tdegraph's special hastened back to the 
Nile and went forward with all possible speed a thou- 
sand miles up the river to rail head. The train snvice 
was overtaxed by the demands of the army, and the 
correspondents had to mardi and ride the last two 
hundred and thirty miles. The troops were on open 
trucks on the railway, "grilled by the sun by day 
and pinched by the cold at night." Burleigh was 
forbidden to hire camels from the natives, and had a 
hard time finding a donkey that was up to his weight. 
Several small adventures befell him in the desert and 
he had his turn with the sand devils, which he thus 
describes: 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



BENNET BURLEIGH 213 

"The devils are indigenous to the Soudan. The devil, 
small or lai^t b a whirlwind, that spins and skips across 
the desert, marking his course with a column of sand, dust 
aod pebbles. He is a brother to the ocean waterspout and 
often as mischievous and dangerous. Three of them waltzed 
in close connection through the British and Egyptian lines. 
They came to us across the desert, in appearance mighty, 
inverted, black cones, their points from forty to dghty 
feet in (Uameter. When they struck the camp it was with 
a roar as of many rushing trains in a tunnel. As they 
furiously spun, coats, blankets, helmets, papers, bully-beef 
tins, in sooth, all the flotsam and jetsam of the camp witlun 
readi, were caught up in the ascending vortex and borne 
as bubbles to the clouds. Tents and tukela went as th^ 
sidled by, and the brave Camerons and Seafortbs had great 
work with their kilts. When the devils were gone, we all 
were as black as sweeps, and aknost blinded and choked 
with grit and sand." 

Oq April 8 was fought the battle of the Atbara. 
It was "after the fatigues of the inarch and the excite- 
ment of the action," aod when Burleigh "had finished 
his long but hastfly written telegrams, which were 
scrawled out while sitting upon the pebbles under a 
blazing desert sun, half blinded and wholly wearied, 
and terribly thirsty and hungry," that he managed 
to get some refreshment and then wrote his long 
description of the action. The attacking force had 
taken the usual square formation, and a little after 
six the preceding evening had silently quit their camp 
and marched into the desert. "The glint of pipe or 
cigarette could be seen here and there in the squares, 
but beyond that and the heavy trampling of the 
troops upon sand and gravel, there was nothing to 
give warning that an army was engaged in that most 
difficult and risky enterprise, a night march." ProwU 
ing d^rish scouts were to be deceived by the still 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



214 FAMOUS WAR COMIESPONDENTS 

burning campfires which friendly natives kept alive 
through the night. "When darkness had quite fallen 
all that could be seen was the dim outline of the square 
(me was with or the cold ahimmo: of the bayonets of 
the nest," and "even when the moon rose her light 
disclosed little more of the movement of the brigades, 
for there was a fresh breeze stirring and the sand and 
dust drove by as thick as a Newfoundland fog." 

A halt was made at nine and the bivouac continued 
for foiu: hours. Biurleigh spent the time visiting the 
various troops and observing the Sirdar and his staff 
in Maxwell's square. And of his observations he 
made this amusing record, among oth^g of a different 
sort: 

"It was whilst waUdng softly, so as not to disturb light 
sleepers, that I overheard a aentimentAl Seaforth Highlander 
s^ to his comrade, 

"'Ah, Tam, how many thousands there are at hame 
across the sea ttunking o' us the nlcht!* 

'"Right, Saoc^,' replied the chum, 'And how many 
millions there are that don't care a damn. Go to sleep, 
you fool!* 

"And mience agMn teU upon that comer of the square." 

Shortly after one in the morning — it was the morn- 
ing of Good Friday — the men silently fell into line 
again. Now there was no smoking and no talking, 
but the sheen of arms could not be hidden and l^e 
rumble of the gun carriages could not be stilled. Com- 
mands were given by the use of signs, as the moon 
now flooded the desert with light. The watchword 
of the marchers was "Remember Gordon and Khar- 
toum." Just as the sun was rising they were seen by 
the dervishes. For some time a cannonade followed; 
then came the bugled call for a general advance. The 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



BENNET BURLEIGH 215 

Khedival bands b^an playing and the pipera skirled. 
There was wild work with rifles, pistols and bayonets. 
The Camions, their hands gloved, pulled apart the 
thorny bushes of which the zareba was made. The 
work, said Burleigh, "was furious and ticklish, as of 
clearing out by hand a hive of hornets." The corre- 
spondent himself entered the zareba imd palisade a 
Uttle to the left of the centre of the Camerons, and as 
the ground was rough and he needed a wide view, he 
at once mounted his horse. "I know the sound of 
bullets hitting in close proximity all around," he wrote, 
"and I several times cau^t myeelt wondering when 
I was going to get the first one. But not even my cloth- 
ing was cut, althou^ it had more than once been 
formerly." 

Soon the final series of events in the long struggle 
for the possession of the Soudan was at hand. Bur- 
leigh spent a short time in England, and was back in 
Cairo in July for the march to Khartoum. 

Reaching the neighborhood of the Khalifa's strong- 
hold, Burleigh traveled with the cavalry on the left 
front and from the tip of a granite hHI he had his 
first glimpse of Omdurman. "As in a daisy-pied field 
there viexe dervish battleflags everywhere among the 
thick, swart lines that in rows barred the way. The 
banners were in all colors, shapes and sizes, but only 
the Khalifa's was black." The correspondent made 
careful computation and reckoned the number (A 
the enemy at 85,000. 

He had his full share in the battle of Omdurman, 
one of the most picturesque conflicts of the century. 
Before four in the morning of September it, 1898, the 
bugles called the army from slumber; at five the Lancers 
rode out on their daily task of scouting and covering 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



216 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the advance. Burleigh joined them on the signal 
hill and as he led his horse up its rugged slopes he 
"heard a mighty rumbling as of tempestuous rollers 
and surf bearing down upon a rock-bound shore." 
And his description continues thus: 

"When I had gone but a few strides farther there burst 
upoD my sight a moving, imdulating plain of men, flecked 
with banners and glistening steel. Who should count them? 
They were compact, not to be numbered. Th«r front from 
east to west extended over three miles, a dense mass flowing 
towards us. It was a great deep-bodied flood rather than 
ao avalanche, advancing without flurry, solidly, with presage 
of power. The sound of their coming grew each instant 
louder, and became articulate. It was not alone the iever> 
beration of the tread of horses and men I heard and seemed 
to feel as well as hear, but a voiced conlinuous shouting 
and chanting — the dervish invocation and battle challenge, 
'Allah el Allah! Baaool Allah el Mahdi!' they reiterated in 
vociferous rhymed, rising measure, as they swept over the 
intervening ground. Their ranks were well kept, the serried 
lines marching with nulitary regularity, with swaying of flags 
and brandialung of big-bladed, cruel spears and two-edged 
swords. Emirs and chids on horseback rode in front and 
along the Unes, gesticulating and marshalling their columns." 

At five-thirty the fighting began. The fierce body 
of savage warriors faced a fire that smashed big gaps 
in their ranks, but came on clearly expecting to close 
with the British and Egyptian forces. The range of 
cannon fire shifted rapidly from 1700 yards down to 
less than a thousand. Rifles were fired so fast that 
they became too hot to hold and front-rank men in 
some cases changed weapons with rear-rankers. The 
first phase of the action closed when the dervish columns 
faced to the left and moved behind the western hills. 
Soon they spouted from shallow ravines and dashed 
forward at breakneck speed. The black flag reached 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



BENNET BURLEIGH 217 

a point within nine hundred yards of Maxwdl's men 
and there it was stuck in a pile of stones and around 
it were piled the dead. Dervish after dervish sprang 
to uphold the banner, which was riddled with bullets. 
"Then the dense columns shrunk to companies, the 
companies to driblets, which finally fled westward to 
the hills, leaving the fleld white with jibbeh-clad 
corpses, 'like a landscape dotted with snowdrifts," 

Now the troops of the Sirdar swung clear of their 
zareba while thousands of the enemy watched from 
the hills. The nature of the ground forced some of 
the troops out of their true positions. The dervishes 
were quick to see and swift to seize their opportunity. 
They "sprang from unsuspected lairs," and dashed 
for the exposed brigade of Colonel MacDonald. Nearly 
every [>erson in the army saw the peril of the little 
force with 12,000 dervishes coming at them pell mell. 
Burleigh rode at a gallop, disregarding the venomous 
dervishes hanging about, up the slopes of the signal 
hill, where, spread like a picture, the scene lay below 
him. Aid was sent MacDonald instantly, but no aid 
could reach him in time. EUs troops were in part Sou- 
danese and Egyptians. Indeciaon on his part would 
have surely lost all. No movement to the rear could 
be attempted in the face of so fleet and daring a foe; 
there were columns converging upon him on three 
aides. It was "a magnificent struggle." 

One of the important services rendered by Burleigh 
was his telling the story of the courage of MacDonald 
and bringing home to the public the facts of his tough 
and protracted fight. Of the entire battle the special 
wrote: "Neither in my experience nor In my reading 
can I recall so strange and picturesque a series of in- 
cidents happening within the period fA twelve hours." 



n,g,t7„ib,.G00gIc 



218 FAMOUS WAE CORRESPONDENTS 

That night he helped to knock from the Umba of Charies 
Neufeld the chains he had carried for elevok yean, 
llien he lay down and fell asleep on the bare desert, 
"hoping to wake and find that savants and baggage 
had turned up." Two days later he attended the 
Gordon memorial service " and wept with the attaches 
of European countries and the Bngljsh officers and 
men." Incidentally it may be recorded that in the 
battle one British officer is said to have earned the 
medal with dasp "tor saving the life of a camp fd- 
lower," to wse the terms employed by the Krdar in 
Tn aking the recommendation. The " camp follower" 
was Burldgh. 

Immediately after tbe occupation ai Ehartotim 
it was ordered by the Sirdar that all newspaper men 
should leave the Soudan. The Press was aogry and 
the Press made exceeding haste to get away from 
Omdurman. Yet there were tokens of great impeaiding 
events. fVom the French Congo, Captain Man^iand 
had been sent to the Upper Nile, and there were rumors 
that he was at Faahoda. Not a syllable about Mar- 
chand was permitted by the censor to go over the wires 
to the London papers, however, and the correspondents 
had to wait until they reached Lower Egypt before 
they could send on the meagre facts in their possessitni. 
Burleigh also was very anxious to get his long account 
<A the battle and the occupation to Meet Street in 
advance of his competitors. 1^ plotted a sdkeme, 
in which but a single confidante was required, and 
carried it through right cleverly. 

The group of specials had reached Brindisi on th^ 
homeward journey, and just as the train across Europe 
was moving out of the station there, Burlet^, ap- 
parently yielding to a freakish impulse, leaped to the 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



BENNET BURLEIGH 819 

ground, saying: "Good-bye, fellows; I'm going to 
stay behind." The test of the story is told in tliese 
terms in the colmnns (^ the Dmlt/ Telegraph: 

"His colleagues Iiad no time to inquire the meaning of 
this manoeuvre. They consoled themselves with the thought 
tliat, at all events, th^ own despatches would readi London 
first. Th^ did not icnow Uiat Burlogh immediately 
returned to Cwro, in order to deal with the Fashoda affair, 
in such a way tliat, although everybody engaged in the 
expedition was repeatedly warned not to disclose anything 
about it, he was enabled very shortly after the event to tell 
the whole stoty day by day. And he did so with the more 
satisfaction because he knew that when he stepped out of 
the train at Brindisi a trusted messenger proceeding post 
haste to Downing Street was also bearing in three large 
red envelopes addressed to the Daily TeUgrtiph his own 
MSS., together with a map of the battle. At Calais the 
bearer of the despatches was met; on board the boat a 
member of the staff of the DaUy Tdegraph prepared the 
'copy' for the printers; the map was corrected by an officer 
who had been on the spot, and immediately the Continental 
trun arrived in London the M^. was rushed into the 
hands of the compositors, the map into those of the engravos, 
and the result was that the whole story of Omdurman was 
in type before the official despatches <A LieuL-General % 
Frauds Grenfell, who commanded the British troi^ in 
Egypt, and of the Sidar, General Sir H. Kitchener, were 
in the hands of the Queen's print^«." 

In addition to this feat, Bennet Burleigh's account 
of the battle appeared in the columns of The Timea, 
and his ability as a forecaster of events raiabled his 
own paper to publish the fact ci the " smashing of 
Mahdism," as he called it, on the very day the battle 
was fought. He telegraphed the forecast in advance \ 
d the event, which was a genuine coup in the realm c4 
calculation, but td course was laden also with grave 
risks td disaster. The Times lost both its corre- 



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280 PAMOTTS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

spondents at Omdunnan; Colonel Frank Rhodes, the 
brother of Cecil Rhodes, was s^ously wounded in 
the zareba early in the battle, and the Hon. Hubert 
Howard, who represented also the New York Herald, 
was killed near the tomb of the Mahdi by a stray shot 
after the fighting was over. By an arrangement with 
the Dca^ Tdegra-ph, Burlap's long account of the 
battle was printed simultaneously in The Times, with 
an explanatory note stating that as it could not get 
its own despatches it used by courtesy the report 
of the correspondent of the rival newspaper. 

Almost at the end of the year 1894, Burleigh sailed 
by way of the Cape of Good Ht^K for Madagascar. 
The French had practicaUy declared war against the 
Malagasy, and for some unknown reason, had decided 
that no press men should be permitted to march with 
th^ troops. Therefore the special was cooimissioned 
"to write about the natives, their country, and the 
impending conflict." 

As in the case of the other correspondent of that 
campaign, E. P. Knight, Burleigh shipped upon a 
vessel whose captain proposed to land his passenger 
in spite of the prohibitions of the French. But this 
correspondent made a port but one hundred and fifty 
miles from the capital rather than the eight hundred 
miles which Knight had to cover. There was no 
Fr^och gunboat in sight, and Burleigh went ashore 
from the ship, swaying easily with the waves a mile 
and a half out, in a craft manned by natives with roughly 
hewn paddles. At the best possible moment the dash 
over tiie reef was made, and, although a ducking was 
inevitable, the thews and muscles of the paddlers held 
the boat bow on and saved the special from capsizing. 



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BENNET BURLEIGH 221 

For some cause there existed a deadly prejudice 
against Bennet Burleigh in the French War Office 
and the hostile spirit was shown upon every occasion 
by the officers of the expedition of conquest, ^ey 
searched steamships without full warrant of authority 
upon the chance of apprehending him. Wh^i the 
capital of the Hovas fell they drew a cordon around 
the city and inquired at once where Burleigh could 
be found. It was stated formally to him that ^e 
French meant not to shoot but to hang him, that they 
meflDt to make aa example of him. Nevertheless he 
started for the capital, with an American as a traveling 
comrade, immediately after his landing through the 
surf, and he r^arded the whole of his stay in the island 
as merely a pleasant jaunt, affording no perils and no 
pictures of real war. 

Over astonishing distances his carriers, "muscled 
as models for sculptors," bore him in the hand palan- 
quin, which is "the stage coach of Madagascar," 
trudging through swamps and marshes, rice fields 
and forests, with black parrots screaming overhead, 
and splendid scenery on every hand. He found the 
capital an irregular jumble of houses of brick, mortar, 
wood and leaf fibre. The Prime Minister assured 
him in a formal interview that no French protectwate 
would ever be accepted by the Hovas, and the spirits 
of the special rose at the prospect after all of some 
genuine fighting, especially when the red flag of war 
was hoisted upon the twelve sacred hills of the great 
continental island. 

Burleigh witnessed the swaying and heard the 
shouting of 50,000 Hovas who answered the summons 
for a monster mass meeting which was hoisted upon 
the Bc^al Palace crowning the hill of Antananarivo. 



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9SSt FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

The blaring of trumpets, the blowing of horna and 
the firing of artillery announced the coming of the 
Queen, who was borne in a velvet and gold palanquin, 
with a gold sceptre in her right hand and the crown 
resting upon a cushion near to be placed upon her head 
when she made her speech. It was a brave address, 
and the people cheered her wildly, yet "there was not 
a single e£Sciently trained soldier in the country." 

The CTperienced war special witnessed also, and 
with real diagrin and disappointment, how bungled 
and destitute of energy and skill was the defence. 
No advice was regarded by the government and there- 
fore the foreign military advisers felt constrained to 
hand in thdr resignations. The Hovas talked large; 
they would bum their capital and make it anoth^ 
Moscow; every man would go out and face death with 
sword and spear when the invaders drew near the 
city; yet positions almost impregnable for defence were 
surrendered without a blow. Burleigh made some 
quiet explorations on his own accoimt uid once was 
in some danger from robbers, but the Hovas would 
not allow him to see their miesa m action. Finally 
the French were in sight, and the tens of thousands 
of Hova "warriors" stared in astonishment at the 
aearch-li^t which was flashed upon them at night, and 
when a melinite shell burst in tiie royal courtyard the 
Queen ordered a flag c^ truce hoisted, and it was all 
over. 

Next came another campaign which "yielded not 
even a whiff of gunpowder smoke," but it was one 
in which the soldiers endured hardships far beyond 
those of ordinary warfare. This was the Ashanti 
campaign, in which the real enemy was the insidious 



DigiUrrlbyGOOglC 



BENKET BURLEIGH 223 

malarial climate. Burieigh declares that he broke 
all the hygienic rules by undertaking long and tiring 
marches, sleeping out-of-doora and taking no quinine, 
but hia Madagascar seasoning helped him and he 
escaped all imfortunate consequences. 

The steamship left an English winter in November, 
1890, and reached June weather in a week. In three 
days after sailing overcoats became a burdoi. and then 
lawn tennis clothes were warm enough for comfort. 
On board were some Royal ArUllerymai, medical 
(^cers and doctors, ^igineers. Sierra Leone and Gold 
Coast officials and traders, a missionary or two, the 
governor of Sierra Leone and the private secretary 
of the commander-in-chief. Moat of them had plenty 
of leisure for pleasure during the voyage, and every 
night there was a "sing-song." 

On December 19, scores of surf-boats, mamied by 
aemi-nude stalwart Fantees, who dipped their trifur- 
cated paddles with lightning speed and machine-like 
regularity and marked the rhythm with a weird chant, 
were swarming about the just-airived ship. And on 
Christmas they managed to have a jolly celebration 
in spite of all the drawbacks of the situation. All 
joined in, "Fantee, Ashanti, Kroo-boy, ^erra Leone 
boy, Mohammedan Houssa, West African n^ro and 
fetish workers." 

On this campaign Burleigh rode a bicycle, a pneu- 
matic, which he found scarcely up to his weight, and 
of his wheel he has written a page which must be cited: 

"The Headquarters had left and I waa in duly bound to 
catch up with them. Riding slowly through the rou^ 
streets of the town, I took the military road — the only 
one — fOT the Prah. My fighting wei^t, with repeating 
carbine, ^isUAa and accessories — nice vague term — was 



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284 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

eighteen stone. Enough on a macadam, rather too much 
on an eight to fifteen feet wide, roughly graded, earth and 
natural rock highway. Pedalling was necessary to move 
at quite a moderate speed, 'scorching' was out of the question 
— the sun had the monopoly of that, whilst as for 'coasting' 
down hill, an idling tree-trunk lying across the road, a 
terraced ledge ot rocks or other obstacle, played havoc 
with any race against time. I tnmdled on at ^gbt to ten 
miles an hour, contented with that speed and enveloped 
with a cloud of hot steam and dust. The swart natives who 
turned at the screech of my 'siren,' and saw me on my 'bike,' 
went white with fear, dropped their loads, and leaping the 
road scampered like deer into the bush. I saw them pemng 
attei me as if I were a ^ost or stalking fetish. There was 
a Icmg downhill on a fairly good bit of road, where, the 
path being tortuous, my 'bike' took charge before I was 
well aware of the fact. I had no brake, so 'coasting' fu- 
riously, shouting and pumping the siren till it roared, with 
my l^s afloat in the air, I let 'her' go. Those unhf^py 
carriers, with whom the road was thronged, when they heard 
the uproar and saw me sailing down the wind on a dxmd 
upon them, tossed their loads instantly aside, and they 
dived, scrambled and disappeared from sight in a twinkling. 
And down that half-mile odd of hill thdr calls to thm 
countiymen ran, as if I had bestrode a fire-engine careering 
madly throu^ the streets of a city." 

Thus Burleigh outpaced his carriers by hours and 
miles. The last inarch was made on January 17. 
Burleigh beheld the king seated upon a chair, placed 
upon the tt^most bank of a circular series of day 
platforms ; over his head were h^ huge pluah imibrellas. 
Swarming below and around the court were per- 
haps five thousand retainers, jabbering, ^uieking and 
gesticulating, while an army of drunmiers and horn- 
blowers kept up a terrific din. Three days later the 
great fetish village was burned and razed to the ground 
and the place of human sacrifices and barbarous rites 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



BENNET BURLEIGH 225 

was destroyed. When the return march to the coast 
b^an, Burleigh turned back to Coomasaie to see what 
might happen when the troops retired, and he then 
saw the Unicm Jack at half-mast on the governor's 
sta£F and learned that the news had been withheld of 
the death on the way home to England of the Que^i's 
son-in-law, Frince H^iry of Battenbuig. 

One other incident in the expedition deserves men- 
tion. The correspondoit had before this time slept 
stretched out on a box of gun-cotton, but in one little 
village of a dozen houses he found four hundred pounds 
of the explosive piled in the central roadway with the 
cases connected up with detonators, so that it could 
be instantly used. Over this pile was placed "a 
wretched, tobacco-smoking, drum-whacking native 
guard, whilst we laid our heads down and slept a dozen 
yards or so from the spot," 

The story of Burleigh's expoienoes in the South 
African War has been told in detail in one of his books, 
yet several of his e^loits are not of formal record. 
He was in the field again for the Daily Telegraph; 
he spent a month before Ladysmith with Gieneral 
Bullei, and was perhaps the only correspondent who 
left the place while the army was streaming in hour 
after hour, the moi dropping on the sidewalks with 
fatigue as they Altered. Burleigh ru^ed to the tde- 
graph office and wired: "We are beaten and it means 
investment. We shall all be locked up in I^ysmith." 
He made up his mind to leave, and he tried to induce 
Melton Prior to go with him. A score dF specials 
decided to stay in the town, and Prior chose to remain 
with them. Burlei^ got bis cart and horses ready 
and kit. And in three days Ladysmith was out fd 



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226 FAMOUS WAB CORRESPONDENTS 

all communication with the outside world. He made 
desperate efforts to learn what was going on in the 
town while it was beleaguered, trying Kaffir runners 
and sending fire balloons aloft with messages. But he 
had Uttle success and every day the difficulties of 
penetrating the Boer linea increased. Again by "the 
intelligent anticipation of events" he forecast the 
relief of the town, and, by arrangem^it with the pro- 
prietors of hia paper, 'he packed his cart with good 
things and had it sent into the place, whoe it was 
welcomed with an outburst of joy. And no wonder, 
for it contained tobaccos, champagne and tinned 
delicacies. 

But Burlei^ meantime was on his way to join 
Lord Roberts, and he later heard with glee how the 
men who had been penned up in Ladysnuth for one 
himdred and nineteen days appreciated his thought- 
fulness. With Lord Roberts he made the western 
campaign, remaining with his army until the surrender 
of Pretoria. His two big exploits in this war were the 
interview with General Joubert and his eluding the 
censor with the news of peace. 

Almost at the beginning of the war he had under- 
taken a venturesome joum^ through the Boer amqr. 
When it became apparent that he must manage to 
get away from Pretoria he somehow got a pass and a 
place in the commando train, in which were three 
himdred men, with horses and fodder, stores and re- 
serve ammunition, but with only one engine to pull 
the thirty-five coaches. After sixty hours, in whidi a 
comparatively short distance was covered, the train 
was stopped. The lines were blocked and news came 
that the English were planting dynamite to blow up the 
bridges on the road. When Joubert arrived Burleigh 



DigiUnlbyGOOglC 



BENNET BUHLEIGH 227 

went to him and begged to be taken on with him next 
day, but the Boer leader refused to promise. Th^e 
was nothing to be done that night, but bri^t and 
eaHy nest morning the special was at the station; 
He saw the train steaming out to Sands-spruit, and, 
feeling sure that Joubert was aboard, he actually 
flagged the train, which stopped forthwith. Burleigh 
climbed aboard and made his way to the coach in which 
was the general. The Boer was amazed and delighted 
with the audacity of the correspondent, and gave him 
an interview, which made one of the important des- 
patches of the campaign for his paper. 

While the negotiations were proceeding for peace 
the most emphatic orders were issued by Lord Kitchener 
that the news should not be hinted in any despatches. 
The censorship was very strict, and extreme precau- 
tions were taken to insure that the official despatches 
should cany the first intelligence to London of the 
termination of hostilities, tidings for which the English 
people were eagerly waiting. Burleigh made sure 
that the Pretoria negotiations were succeeding, and 
then hit up<Hi the device of wiring two messages so 
very innocent and so far removed from the peace 
conference that no official would dream of stopping 
them unless he were gifted with astuteness in most 
uncanny degree. The account of the DaUjf Tdegraph 
was printed subsequently thus: 

"On Whit Monday, Mr. Burleigh telegraphed us from 
Pretoria the following message: 'Whitsuntide greetings!* 
When his despatch reached us without any official delay 
our first idea was that its transmission at full rate from the 
seat of war was a somewhat superfluous demonstration of 
politeness. A little reflection, however, served to indicate 
the ngiuficance of the parUcular season at which the sociable 



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228 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

sentiment was ezpressed; and we fortunately remembered 
that in tlie Eastern Cliurclies the symbol of Whitsuntide 
was the dove of Peace. But on this surmise we did not feel 
justified in TnaTHng any comment. We turned, however, 
to' the Primer Book — knowing Mr. Burleigh to be well 
acquainted with Holy Writ — and, reading over the Gospd 
for Whit Sunday, we came upon the following sentence: 

'"Peace I leave with you; my peace I pve unto you; 
not as the world giveth, ^ve I unto you. Let not your 
heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.' 

"Even then we did not feel justified in coming to a 
fixed conclusion. But when we received Mr. Burleigh's 
message to his brother in Glasgow — ' Returning. Tdl 
Lawson' — we felt that the moment had arrived when we 
might fuiIy take the public into our confidence." 

Thua the official statranent. But as a matter ci 
fact the paper very nearly missed the significance of 
the rather cryptic messages. The peace negotiations 
had been in progress but a few days when he wired, 
and it was on Whit Sunday itself that the Boer leaders 
met Lord Kitchener and Lord Milner. The tel^rams 
were salt on May 18; the terms of peace were finally 
signed on May 31. It was really another case of the 
prescience of the shrewd special. 

The great conflict in the Far East was very unsatis- 
factory from the point of view of this veteran. Ss 
went into the field on a Korean pony, "somewhat 
larger than a St. Bernard dog and somewhat smaller 
than an Egyptian donkey," and before very long found 
"the leashed life of a war correspondent with the 
Japaujese" insupportable. There was small comfort 
in looking at puffs of smoke and listening to the reports 
of cannon from a hill four miles from the firing line. 
Finally, in desperation, like many another special, 
Burleigh surrendered to the inevitable and left Man- 
churia- He was in the Balkan Peninsula through 



BENNET BURLEIGH 220 

the crisia which followed the overthrow (^ Sultui 
Abdul Hamid by the Young Turks, and his sympathy 
with Servian aspirations gained for him the endiuing 
affecdcm (rf that people. In 1911, he went to Tripdi, 
and in 1912 in the Balkans, at the age, perhaps, c^ 
sev^ity-three, he saw his last' shot fired in war. Less 
than seven months after his retirement from active 
connection with his paper, on June 17, 1914, he died 
in London. 

It must be noted that Bennet Burieigh was a most 
ingenious and strenuous reporter in the intervals 
between the wars that he covered. As an illustrative 
example, there is the story of the time when public 
excitement was running very high over the efforts of 
Mr. Charles Bradlau^ to enter the House c^ Commons. 
It was known that he would make an attempt to force 
his way into the chamber, and that there was bound to 
be a scene in the lobby of the House. No reporters 
could hope to gain access to the lobby. Burleigh, 
at that time in the employ of an agency, procured the 
clothing, the ladders and the tools of a gas fitter, and 
weat to work upon the lamps in the lobby. Brad- 
laugh came on schedule time, there was a struggle at 
the door of the chamber, and the reporter, from asi 
excellent position at the top of his ladder, watched 
the whole scene, and filed mental notes for future use. 
As soon as seemed discreet, the "gas fitter" disap- 
peared, and, to the perplexity of the members, the 
papers had some very interesting articles the following 
day. 

Not until 1909 did disease discover the age of 
Bennet Burleigh. He had an abnormally robust 
constitution, and his first serious illness came in that 
year. Moreover his was the ratiier unusual habit 



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430 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

among men of the cosmopolitan and newspaper type 
of letting tobacco alone altogether and of drinking 
nothing more exhilarating than soda water. He had 
"great habits," indeed, as Mortimer Menpes said, 
and he was rather prone to assertiveness upon military 
matters, as if his judgment was authoritative. How- 
ever, he was seldom wrong, and his cheery optimism, 
his ready smile, his big voice and his deeply tender 
nature endeared him to very many men. His favorite 
quotation from Milton suggests much, "What though 
the field be lost, All is not lost." His supreme aim 
was never to be beaten with the news, always to keep 
his paper in the lead, and his power of organization, 
mated with the qualities which have been noted, 
enabled him to achieve remarkable things. He was a 
Socialist, and a lover of argument, so that his friends 
used to say laughingly that he "never was at peace 
except when he was at war." It must have been a 
rare type of man who received this tribute from Field- 
Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood: 

"I much r^ret to learn of the death of Mr. Bennet 
Burlei^ of whose accuracy, ability, courage, endurance, 
discretion, int^rity, militaiy judgment, and knowledge, 
patriotism, and tact, I have, from much personal obserration 
extending over a quarter of a centuiy, a very high o[»iuoii." 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



CHAPTER Vn 
EDMOND O'DONOVAN 

"I un writing this nnder ctrennutuices which bring me «htM*t Mnear 
to dekdi u is powiblo to bo without being mtder (itMolute Kotence of 
«xecutioD or in the throes of loiiw deadlj nuiadj. However, to die out 
here, «rith a iBDCchead u In^ aa a ahovel through m^ win meet my views 
better than the gradual inking into the grave whidi is the lot of ao many. 
Yon must Icnow that lieie we ace fifteen linndied miles away south of 
Cmto, in the midst of a wild, unexplored country. The Egyptian anny. 
with wUdi I am here camped on the banks of the Nik, wiD^ve but one 
diance given them—^me tremendous pitched battle, lite enemy we have 
to meet are aa courageous and fierce as the Zulus, and much better armed, 
and our army is that which ran away before a handful of British troops at 
IW^Kebir." 

— (fDonoum in a Utier to Sir John RiAmton rix weeki btffon kit JmiA. 

Restless as a nomad and incurably Bohemian in 
his tastes, Edmond O'Donovao once described his 
life in the conventional civilization of London as that 
of "a Bed Indian in patent leather boots." He knew 
surveying, medicine and botany, combining some 
d^ree of scientific attainment with his love of adven- 
ture. His rooms in London partook of the appearance 
of both the arsenal and the laboratory; upon the walls 
were daggers, revolvers and carbines, and scattered 
about the floors were retorts, galvanic batteries and 
Leydea jars. He rejoiced in Oriental carpets and 
curiously woven rugs, and nnoked a wat^ pipe with 
all the placid satisfaction of a native of the East. 
He had the Irishman's love for Thomas Moore, and 
there was a goodly amount of sentiment in his makeup, 
so that in Asia Minor he would lie on his back and 
recite to Edward Vizetelly two himdred lines at a 
time from "Lalla Rookh." On several occasions he 
rather amazed London by his practical jokes, as when 



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832 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

he dressed his secretary in a most extraordinary 
blending of costumes from all quarters of the globe 
and promenaded the Strand "conversiiig" with him 
in an outlandish g^berish invented for the purpose- 
All inquirers were told his companion was "a chieftain 
from Karakali and a very clever chap." 

Edmond O'Donovan was the son of a Celtic schc^ar 
of Trinity College, Dublin, and himself took prizes 
there in chemistry. He became assistant librarian 
for the institution, but the cloisters of learning did 
not suit hia temperament, and he b^an joumalinn 
when about twenty years of age. There were trips 
to France and America, and for some time he studied 
medicine in New York City. After Sedan ho joined 
th^ FoKJign Le^on and fought at Orleans. Having 
been wounded and captured, he was interned in a 
Bavarian fortress and narrated in the columns of papers 
in Dublin and London his experiences as a prisoner. 
During the Carlist struggle he was in the Basque 
Provinces for a Dublin paper and The Times. In 
1876 he journeyed to Herzegovina for the Daily News, 
and Mvea went on to Asia Minor for the Russo-Turkish 
War. The campugn over, this tall, slender, lithe 
man, with dark beard and very soft eyes, gifted with 
a genial nature and a marvellous memory, started 
upon his journey into the remote interior of Asia. 
It is the story of this ride to Merv which I have to 
relate in outline, with the recommendation that his- 
own picturesque narrative be read by those who have^ 
not had the pleasure of making its acquaintance. 

"I left Trebizond at sunset on Wednesday, February 
6, 1879, en route for Central Asia," he says. The first 
stages of the journey were accomplished by steamer 
and train. The distance from Tiflis to the Caspian 



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EDMOND 0*DONOVAN 238 

Sea at Baku was tniTersed in the primitive cart known 
as the troika. Hiemce he went over the sea to Tchikis- 
lar with General Lazareff, and there for three weary 
months he waited in the rains which fell ahnost daily, 
in the vain hope that some forward movement would 
be made. Both the general and the Irish adventurer 
fell dangerously ill. There were many in the camp 
who said it was a race which would die first, and there 
was a little gambling on the issue. Those who bet 
on the commander-in-chi^ won, for on August S3 
0*Donovan staggered from his bed, insisted upon 
being helped to the pier, and took ship back to 'Baku, 
where two days later the body of General Lazareff 
was brought. 

General Tergukasoff, the new commander of the 
Russian forces, arrived about a month later and 
carried O'Donovan to Tchikislar once more. It was 
made clear to the visitor that the Russians had no 
special interest in his society; there were hints and 
finally direct intimations that he must quit the place. 
One morning he was ordered to leave in the evening 
for Baku. O'Donovan suavely said that the right 
to direct him to leave he did not contravene, but that 
be disputed the right to dictate the route he should 
take. He was quite willing to go to the frontier and 
on to Asterabad, the nearest point where he would 
find a British Consul. The ride to that city was 
studded with difficulties, and for many miles he trav- 
ersed a mud flat following the tel^raph poles. As 
he glimpsed Asterabad at last, "with its picturesque 
towers and ramparts gleaming yellowly in the noonday 
sun" he wrote that he "might almost fancy himself 
enacting the part of Kalendar in the Arabian Nights, 



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SS4 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

and, after a weaiy wandering amid trackless deserts, 
coming suddenly upon the enchanted city." 

His intention was to keep within reach of the 
Russian columns and to secure information from time 
to time of the happenings in the camp at Tchildslar 
from which he had been banished, but rumors reached 
him of some unusual activities among the Tekk£ 
Turcomans and he decided to venture out into the 
plain to some point where he might learn with accuracy 
precisely what was going on in the Russian lines. 
For three months he made his home with the Yamud 
Turcomans. The world, and especially the FinglUh 
world, wanted to know what the mysterious Russians 
were doing in the interior of Asia, and just how the 
movements of their colunms related to the military 
policies and the political purposes of the two nations. 
These things O'Donovan was determined to know 
as much about as it was possible to leun, and he 
had a well-grounded conviction that Merv was one 
ot the ultimate points of the Russian movement, so 
Kferv became forthwith an objective of his own. 

On April 36, 1880, he sailed from the port c^ Aster- 
abad for Enzeli, intending to cross the mountains 
to the capital of Persia; with him went the son <^ the 
Consul and a courier. The riding was hard, and only 
after much scrambling up steep ascents and a deal 
of floundering and slipping did they finally arrive at 
Teheran. The first call was upon the Russian minister, 
who informed the Irish rover that all was in the hands 
ot the comnumder-in-chief. The new commander 
was the frigid of MacGahan, General Skobeleff. 
O'Donovan wired him. Back came a prompt and 
polite reply in which regrets were expressed, but 
orders ven orders and there positively could be no 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



EDMOND O'DONOVAN 2M 

change made in his favor. O'Donovan tel^raphed 
his thanks in return, and added, "au revoir a Merv." 
"I was resolved to be there bdore the Russian troops 
could reach it," he wrote. 

Permission to visit the extreme northern limits 
of Ferda was not hard to secure and there he would be 
upon the borders of the Tekk£ country. The first 
point in the itinerary was two hundred and eighty- 
four miles away, but he adventured beyond it, 
making circuits when necessary to avoid danger. 
Of dangers there were many; in one riot he was the 
target of more than a hundred stone throwers. 
Foes lurked in the mountain ravines and to evade 
enemies he traveled much at night, and once in the 
darkness he found himself on top of a mud wall four 
feet high and mounting higher at every stride. In a 
few minutes he would have been twelve feet from 
the ground on a wall two feet wide. For a time he 
traveled with a train of pilgrims, and so much in awe 
wore the Persians of their marauding neighbors that 
these pilgrims thought their guest insane to undertake 
a ride to any place near the Turcoman frontier. 

Sickness assailed him again. For a time he was 
unconscious, and when the fever left him enfeebled. 
it became advisable to modify his plans once more. 
He departed for Meshed, the sacred city of Persia, 
but so weak was he and so slow was his progress, that 
the distance tuually walked in less than three days 
required seven days for him to ride. Here he rented 
a house where he intended to recuperate, but the 
action of the Persian government detained him beyond 
the contemplated stay. 

After three months, his health sufficiently restored 
for the venture, he started for the Tekk£ country. 



DigitzrrlbyGOOgIC 



es6 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

In the van rode a Turcoman guide, then came the 
guard of honor designated for him. three s<Jdiers and 
thiee servants, and in the rear were hia own people 
and his horses. He found that the Turcomans wne 
raiding almost up to the gates of the 'capital of the 
province. Every effort he made to cross the frontier 
was blocked. The agents of the Russians were watch- 
ing him and in some of the obstacles about him he 
traced their influence. Twice he undertook to make 
his way through the Tejend swamp, a treacherous 
expanse, full of leopards and wild boars and where 
an occasional tiger was shot, a passage so perilous 
that often horses and their riders were swallowed up 
in the depths they tried to traverse. 

Merv he was bound to reach, however, whatevn 
the cost, and with an escort of ten horsemen he finally 
managed to make a promising sally. Even then the 
Russian agent at Kaka frightened his Persian guard 
from going on, but this O'Donovan found a positive 
advantage, for now he had only his two servants to 
think of, and was really free. At last he was actually 
oCF for the collection of settlements known to the worid 
as Mnv. Said O'Donovan: 

"Both the Russian agent and the Persiao esctnt tliou^it 
I would never dare venture alone across the desert. . . . 
There was no road or beaten track of any kind. Sometimes 
I plunged into deep ravines, densely grown with giant 
we«ds and cane brakes. Pheasants rose by dozens at every 
twenty yards. Wild boars continually plunged with a 
crashing noise through the reeds, and now and again I 
caught sight of a leopard or lyoz stealing aw^ deeper into 
the jun^e. The entire scene was one of primitive nature. 
Veiy probaUy I was the first European who had ever trodden 
thatwi^." 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



EDMOND aDONOVAN 837 

There wore marauders waiting to spy and waylay 
travelers in the day time so that he had to proceed 
at night; he picked his way along by the light of a 
slender moon. At dawn he crossed a stream fifty 
yards wide, going cautiously and in a zigzag course, 
his servants kneeling on their saddles with the provision 
bags on their shoulders. For several hours they fared 
forward over the hot desert until an obelisk was reached, 
marking the spot where there ought to be a rain-wat^ 
cistern. The cistern was dry but there was water 
enough in the narrow track to assuage the violent 
thirst of the horses. Entirely spent and uttwly unable 
to go on, O'Donovan camped among some tamarisk 
bushes and slept through a storm of h'ghtning and 
soaking rain. Wet, worn and hungry, he rode in the 
morning strai^t for Merv. As the first huts were 
reached a crowd of wild-looking persons stared at him. 
TbiB is what they saw: 

"I might have passed for anything. I wore an enormous 
tiara of grayish-black sheepskin, ei^teen inches in height. 
Over my shoulders was a drenched leopard skin, beneath 
which could be seen my travel-stained, much worn over- 
coat. My l^s were caparisoned in long black boots, armed 
with great steel spurs, appendages utterly unknown in 
Turkestan. A sabre and revolving carbine completed my 
outfit. Some people m^ wonder why I did not assume a 
style of dress more in keeping with the custom of the country. 
I had considered this matter carefully before deciding upon 
the irrevocable step toward Merv. I could apeak Jagatu 
Tartar fairly well, and my sun-tanned countenance and 
passably lei^thy beard offered no extraordinary contrast 
to that of an inhabitant, but my accent, and a thousand 
other little circumstances, not to speak of the indiscretion 
of my servants, would have been enough infaUibly to betray 
me. To appear in Turcoman costume, or in any other 
which tended to conceal my real nationality and charact^. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



238 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

would, under the circumstances, have been to court almost 
certfun destruction." 

Almost at once he began to realize that he had 
faced captivity for an indefinite period. He was in 
the heart of the Turcoman country at last; his goal 
had been reached, but what a reception he had. Thus 
he described it: 

"The circular beehive house into which I was shown 
was instantaneously crowded almost to suffocation. Some 
one pulled off my wet riding boots, after a prolonged struggle; 
another substituted a lambskin mantle for my drenched 
leopardskin and overcoat. A bo^ of scalding hot green 
tea, without sugar, and tasting lilce a dose of Epsom salts, 
completed my material cotnforta. 

" I sat dose to the fire and warmed my shivering members. 
All the time the assembled people were gazing at me with 
an eagerness of expression that no words could convey. 
They apparently thought that after all I might be somebody 
mysteriously connected with the events transpiring so near 
to them, and who had come among them on a friendly 
misaon. This idea was still further propagated by the 
volubility of my Kurd, who, in the last agony of apprehension 
about his own personal well-being, was pouring torrents 
of lies into the ears of his auditory. 

"Some of my late escort even went so far as to s^r that 
they believed me to be a Busaan, and that I came to Merv 
as a spy. Thdr expression d opinion seemed to take effect, 
and I could see, by the thinning of the audience, ihat I 
was losing ground. 

"Then a great fat man, with a mingled expresdon <rf 
ruffianism and humor, came in and asked me plainly ^o 
and what I was. This was Beg Murad Khan, a gentleman 
whose more intimate acquaintance I subsequently made 
in more than one disagreeable instance. I told him as well 
as I could, considering that the language was Jagatiu Tartar, 
and that the Turcomans have not a clearly defined notion 
of the functions of a peripatetic literaiy man. I said that 
I could set mysdf ri^t in a few days by despatching a 



DigitzrrlbyGOOgIC 



EDMOND CDONOVAN 289 

letter to the British native agent at Meshed by the caravan 
which was about to start. This proposition was met by 
a general shout of warning not to attempt to write a un^ 
word ot my throat would be immediately cut. . . . 

"Struck by the peculiarity (A my surroundings, and 
iriahing to chionide them while they still were vividly 
impressed upon me, I once ventured to produce my note- 
book and jot down a few hurried Unes. At once an excited 
Tuzconum darted from the hut with the news that the 
Feren^ was writing, and I could hear the recommendation 
to finish me off at once repeated by many a Up. In came 
the humorous-looking ruffian again to assure me in a ve- 
hement manner that if paper and pencil were again seen in 
my hand I could only blame myself for the result." 

The next morning they were off for Merv itself, 
the seat ot the Tekk£ government, and the *' mysterious 
goal toward which he had been so long looking forward." 
Across a great plain, past villages of beehive shaped 
huts, amid com fields and melon beds, they made 
their way. In the midst of a cluster of two hundred 
such huts was a small red banner waving from a lance 
shaft lashed to the top of a pole. Thus was marked 
the residence of the ^cecutive chief elected by the 
leading persona of the whole Merv district. Beyond 
this a few yards was a fairly large pavilion tent of a 
pale blue color which 0*Donovan learned was intended 
for himself. It was a piece of the spoil taken trom. 
the Persians. Within was a thick f^t mat, covered 
with a Turcoman carpet, and near one end in a shallow 
pit was a charcoal fire. 

For a month now the inquiring Irishman "lived 
inside a much-patronized peep-show." If he sl^t 
he would wake to find people staring at him from 
inside the tent and from every nook without. At 
times the crowds were so great that the tent reeled 



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240 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

and swayed and threatened to collapse and once it 
actually did come down. 

Seven days after his arrival there was a genial 
council of Merv chi^s for the consideration of his 
case. About two hundred were seated in a drcle 
of twenty yards diameter, while within the cirde on a 
large mat sat the man from Dublin. He told his 
story, and how he had fled before Skobeleff*s horse 
to their protection; he showed his English and Persian 
documents and he referred them to the British agent 
at Meshed and the minister at Tehran. At leii^th 
they seemed to take his word and he was conducted 
bade to his tent whence he could hear their loud and 
eager debate. Those were anxious moments; they 
might sentence him to immediate execution. After 
a half -hour they told him that he was not to be slain, 
but that he would be a prisoner until they could 
get a reply from Meshed. They built a comparatively 
cool hut for him. Seeing that his dress stirred curiosity 
he bought in a bazaar an ordinary Turcoman costume. 
The courier brought a letter from JIt&shed which 
certified that he was English and without any connec- 
tion with the Russian expedition. Thus assured, they 
placed their captive at comparative liberty, although it 
was evident that he was in the hands erf hosts who 
also were jailers. 

O'Donovan's object now was to make as complete 
a survey as possible of the entire Merv district, and 
to learn the manners, customs, government and general 
tone of mind of the people. He saw seven thousand 
of their young men constructing fortifications of the 
sort that from remote antiquity had been built in 
those regions, huge continuous embankments, f<ni;y 
feet in height, made of tenacious yellow iilay. As a 



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EDMOND O'DONOVAN 241 

Bort of artUlerist-in-chi^ he supermteDded the re- 
moimtmg of the guns captured from the Persians, od 
carriages sawed out of the trunks of trees. He noted 
that the key to the entire territory was the water 
system and studied their irrigation canals. 

Ere long the adventurer became a great man in 
Merr. Letters had come to him from Teheran, on 
the strength of which he was able to tell them that 
the Russians had agreed not to advance furthffl: east 
than Askabad and that they were not coming to Merv. 
This was the sequel: 

"They conducted me to an open space lying between the 
northern and southern lines of eca which had hitherto been 
entirely unoccupied. To my great surprise I found that 
in its midst was being constructed a kind of redoubt, seventy 
or eighty yards square, on which nearly a hundred men 
were busily engaged. In the centre of this space was an 
ev in course of erection. The wooden, cage-like framework 
was iUready reared, and half a dozen women were occupied 
in adjusting the felt walls and roof. To this I was led by 
my escort. My saddles, arms, bedding and other effects 
were piled within it, and the two Turcoman servants whom 
I had hired were busily engaged in adjusting the carpet 
. . . 'Tlus,' thfy told me, 'is your residence as a Khan; 
tar the vudjlU has decided that you are to be accepted here 
as the representative of the English Padishah.' This 
was almost too much for my gravity, but, retaining my 
self-possession, I simply bowed, as if aU this were only a 
matter of course, and, sitting upon the carpet prepared for 
me, made note of the drcumataoces." 

Over and over again 01>onovan had protested 
that he had no pretensions to represent the British 
government, and that his mission to Merv had been 
undertaken solely with the view of ascertaining the 
true state of affairs among the Turcomans and of 
informing the English public as to the positions rel- 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



242 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

atively of the Tekk^ and the Russians. All his 
endeavors were of no avail; politics was a very lively 
occupation in Merv, and for the time it had been 
arranged that the eastern and western divisions of the 
Turcomans shoidd conduct their concerns of state 
und^ the guidance of their own immediate chiefs. 
With these two Khans, as a representative of the 
English nation and an intermediary between the Mervli 
and the English Fadisha, the Irishman was to be 
associated. The Turcomans held him in a kdnd of 
honorable captivity, for they were convinced that 
in some fashion he had rendered them a great service 
and had saved them from the Russian invaders. 

His installation, although he was not quite sure 
that installation was the correct term to employ, was 
a ceremonious occasion. He made this record of the 
event: 

" It was a curious sight that I gazed upon from my door. 
The Murghab flowed sluggishly by; the huge mass of nearly 
completed ramparts rose against the morning sli?, covered 
with thousands of s[>ectators, who availed themselves of 
every coign of vantage to cab^ a sight of the doings within 
my redoubt. From moment to moment the guns thundered 
out, their echoes rolling away across these historic plains. 
The crimson flag flapped and fluttered above our head; 
and the warriors and chiefs of Merv in their best and brightest 
apparel, grouped around, some sitting, some standing, pre- 
sented a spectacle the theatrical effect of whidi was only 
surpassed by its political interest." 

Thus Edmond O'Donovan was duly constituted 
a member of the Triumvirate which ruled Merv. 
What were the duties of bis exalted position he knew 
not at all, and, indeed, it was some time before he 
discovered that be was not only a Triumvir but the 
Chief Triumvir, the President of the Council. A 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



EDMOND CDONOVAN «4S 

few emolumeDts came with the office, and there were 
gifts of silken mantles, ornamented skull caps, and 
a gold ring with a cabalistic inscription. A great 
crimson banner was flung to the breeze before his 
door. He had to learn the courtesies of his station. 
There were visits of ceremony to pay and receive 
and the door of the Khan was supposed always to 
be open and his hospitality always ready. Above 
all, the Irish Triumvir tried to evade all complications 
ai a political or an international nature. Gradually 
he acquired a large fund of information about the 
surrounding region and the events which were transpir- 
ing therein. The Turcomans b^an to regard him 
as a sort of naturalized citizen; they turned the talk 
at times to the Koranic doctrines and he made so 
much prepress in their favor that they intimated that 
there remained no obstacles to his open acceptance 
of the true faith with its responsibilities and its im- 
plications. 

At length, and somewhat to the relief of the foreign 
Triumvir, for matters were becoming a trifle em- 
barrassing, there came a letter, covered over with 
imposing seals, from the British Minister at the capital 
of Persia. Tlie writer declared that O'Donovan's 
presence was required at once in England, for the 
British government desired that the traveler should 
come in person to render an account of his obso^ations 
in Merv. The visitor seized the opportunity to urge 
his release, but th^e were vexing delays and many 
an anxious experience to endure ere he was permitted 
to set his face homewards. 

There was first a weary wait for the general meBjlit 
which his fellow Triumvirs assured him must be held 
before it would be propa* for bim to go. Excuses 



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244 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

multiplied, uotil at last O'Donovan ventured to 
present his ultimatum; be declared that he would 
leave within three days at the most. Circumstances 
befriended him quite opportunely. Scouts brought 
tidings of Cossack horsemen with whom were persons 
with "divers wonderful and dreadful engines" march- 
ing about the frontier. What they had seen were 
the engineo's with their theodolites who were surveying 
the r^on. The ingenious Irishman seized this report 
"as a drowning man grasps at a straw;" he affirmed 
that the fate of Merv depended upon a meeting of 
the ambassadors of Europe at Meshed. 

But the Turcomans blandly told the Triumvir 
that the ladies of Merv were greatly opposed to his 
leaving them. Perhaps the wily and dilatory Tur- 
comans were arguing better than they knew, for what 
Irishman is there who will not go out of his way to 
oblige a lady? However, O'Donovan, almost at his 
wit's end, sent to Meshed and obtained four bags of 
inlvo* as an appeal to the cupidity of his amiable 
captors, distributing the coins judiciously among the 
influential men of the settlements. The delays came 
to an end at last and the general conference was hdd. 
"It was an imposing spectacle." said O'Donovan. 
"Close by rose the frowning front of the newly- 
completed fortress. About me in their picturesque 
garbs were the redoubtable robber chiefs of Central Asia. 
Some thousands of people, grouped in knots, surrounded 
us at a short distance, and more than a hundred horse- 
men were close upon the edge of the circle listening 
eagerly to every word that passed." 

In turn O'Donovan rose to speak and the entire 
assemblage listened in a stillness so profound that 
it was painful. He kept his self-possession and made 



EDMOND CDONOVAN 946 

his points without undue emphasis upon the personal 
issues which were distressing himself. The roll was 
called by the "Old Man of the Sword," the vote was 
in his favor and formal assent was given to his departure. 

After six months in Merv, he started upon his 
homeward journey. He had quite lost count of the 
days of the month and week, and recovered the calendar 
at the sacred city. He was again a very sick man at 
Meahed and was carried in a sort of hammock awimg 
between two horses to Teheran, arriving at the capi- 
tal more dead than alive. 

By way of Odessa he reached Constantinople on 
November 26, 1881, having spent four months on the 
way from Merv. He had set out from Trebizond 
almost three years before; a romantic and unique 
experience had come to an end. Upon his return to 
England he learned that his release was due partly 
to his own boldness and tact and in part to the adroit 
diplomacy of Lord Granville. From Teheran the 
situation had been communicated to Sir John Robin- 
son of the Daily News and he had set in operation the 
machinery of the Foreign Office. In London the 
Triumvir of Merv was given an enthusiastic reception 
and he delivered a lecture b^ore the Royal Geograph- 
ical Society. 

The following year, Major Hicks, an English 
Indian officer, made his disastrous march in the Soudan, 
some particulars of which are narrated in the chapter 
devoted to the five Vizetellys. His Egyptian troops 
were unmitigated cowards, who had made the first 
stage of their journey as impressed men with iron 
collars riveted to their necks and chains attached to 
the collars lest they should run away. 

On November 23, 1883. the news reached England 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



1246 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

that Hicks Pasha'a force had been completely de- 
stroyed. With the troops waa Edmond O'DonoTao 
for the DaHy Neu», but the particulars of his death 
are not known. In the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral 
one <^ the memorials to war correspondents bears 
the nataes of six men who died in the Soudan between 
1883 and 1885. The first to fall were Vizetelly and 
0*DonOTan, at Cashgill, probably on November 4. 
The first name of the six upon the tablet is that of 
the some-time Triumvir of Merv. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



CHAPTER Vni 
THE FIVE VIZETELLYS 

"The old spirit of 1117 Italian ■ires, the (pirit ot love and battle and 
■drenture, EtUI displayed itaelt in one or another ot each generation of my 
nee. It had carried one of my grandfather's brothers to India, to fight, 
love, and be murdered there in old Company days; it had made one of my 
father's brothers a nineteenth-century amdottien, battling in either hemis- 
pbeie, an example largely followed by one of my own twithera. And for 
ycais my life had been romance — real ronunoe in the midft o( the 
mnkaday nineteenth century. " 

— £nusl A^nd ViMtMly. 

Of the five members of the Vizetelly famOy who 
must be enrolled in the honorable fraternity of war 
correspondents only one survives, Ernest Alfred Vizet- 
elly, who at seventeen went to the Pranco-Pnissian 
war as the youngest special of whom there is record, 
and who now is well-known as journalist, author 
and translator. The father, Henry Bichard Vizetelly, 
was one of the founders of the lUudraied London News, 
and for years was a special for that joiunal, witnessing 
all the scenes of the siege of Paris by the Germans 
and of the Commune. Another son, Edward Henry 
Vizetelly, was with Garibaldi in 1870 in the Vosges, 
and, after having served in campaigns in various parts 
of Europe, Asia and Africa, he ended the spectacular 
part of his career by carrying the American flag, 
as the special representative of James Gordon Bennett, 
to meet Stanley when be emerged from the interior 
of "darkest Africa" with Emin Pasha in 1880. There 
was also a nephew, Montague Vizetelly, who did time 
with the Italian army in Abyssinia. In some ways 
the most remarkable of this group of newspaper men 
was Frank Vizetelly, who, after having reported Sol- 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



248 FAMOUS WAR CORHESPONDENTS 

ferino. Garibaldi's campaign of 1860. the Civil War 
in America. Sadowa, and the Carlist rising of 1873, 
lost his life in the massacre to which Hicks Pasha 
carelessly inarched in the Soudan in 188S. 

Henry Vizetelly was descended from an Italian 
family which came from Venice to England in the 
spacious days of Queen Elizabeth, and was bom in 
London in 1820. As a "sort of revelation" there 
came to him the suggestion of a newspaper with every 
number more or less filled with engravings. Herbert 
Ingram had conceived the idea of an illustrated criminal 
record, and out of the association of these two men 
appeared in 1842 the first number of The lUuttrated 
L(mdon News, tiie first journal of the kind to be estab- 
lished in any country. A suf^estion of the change 
which has been wrought in the course of time is found 
in the statement of Vizetelly that "any kind of views 
of such localities as were then the seat of war in China 
and Afghanistan were only to be procured with the 
greatest difficulty." 

The following year Ingram and Vizetelly parted 
company and the latter established The Pieiorud 
Times. Among his contributors were Douglas Jerrold, 
Thackeray and Mark Lemon, and b^ore he sold 
out to give his attention to the printing (A illustrated 
books for all the publishers of the city he had had the 
satisfaction of publishing in his journal Hood's famous 
"Bridge of Sighs." About 1855 he again ventiired 
into the field of illustrated periodicals with the Timet, 
acquiring a staff which included Edmimd Yates and 
George Augustus Sala, and such artists aa Gustave 
Dor^ and Hablot Browne. His success was tremen- 
dous; of the first number there were advance 
orders for 100,000 copies. In 1859 Vizetelly sold the 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



u 



51 
Si 

ii 



n 



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D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS 249 

paper to the News and took sorvice with Ingram, 
going to Paris in 1864 aa correspondent and general 
representative on the Continent for that journal. 

With the coming of the war of 1870 arrived the 
heroic period of the life of Henry Vizetelly. Now the 
special correspondent was merged into the war corre- 
spondent. When the newspi^r specials with the 
French army were no longer heading their letters, 
"From Paris to Berlin;" when noisy throngs in the 
dty w^« DO more shouting the Marseillaise; when 
after having been vain and demonstrative the people 
had become silent and stem; when the tidings of Sedan 
came, there followed in quick succession the downfall 
of the ministry, of the dynasty, and of the Empire. 
A Government of National Defense was organized. 
Paris welcomed the revolution with paroxysms of joy. 
Victor Hugo, the exile of Jersey, returned and received 
ovations on the boulevards. Crowds of well-dressed 
people watched the work of demolition for the clearing 
of a military zone for the defense of the city. Melaja- 
choly processions made their way into the city 
from the country witliout, "poor households, with 
everything they possessed, shabby bedding, rickety 
chairs and tables, cracked crockery and bundles, 
stacked haphazard in tottering carts drawn by bony 
horses, or piled on trucks and pushed by Weary men, 
women and children, dusty and travel-stained." 

On Sunday, September 18, a splendid autunmal 
day, a gay crowd watched the city preparing for war. 
Far into the night telegrams k^t coming from all 
points of the environs to the government. That was 
the last day of liberty. On Monday, September 10, 
Paris awoke to the booming of cannon. There were 
no letters, no papers from outside; the telegraph wires 



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8fi0 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

were severed, the railway lines were cut; Paris was 
isolated. The multitudes were locked in the city by 
the German invaders. 

Couriers were tried; one day of twenty-eight sent 
out only two got through the lines of investment and 
all the lest had to return. Occasionally a mess^iger 
wriggled in from the outside carrying letters and 
cipher messages, secreted sometimes beneath the 
sldn, or hidden in coat buttons and in coins specially 
prepared. But land and water were closed and only 
the air remained, and to the air the Parisians and 
the newspaper men in the city turned their attention. 

On September 23, all Paris watched the sending 
up of the first baUoon, which carried three mail bags 
with 2£,000 letters. Tlie aeronaut watched the Gec~ 
man cannon balls soar and fall, passed the lines of 
the besieging army with safety, and made a landing. 
The second balloon left two days later, only to be 
becalmed, and before the Seine was crossed three 
bundles of letters, ten bags of ballast and the seats 
of the car had to be tossed overboard, but carrier 
pigeons came back with the news of a successful 
voyage among the clouds. A decree was issued 
limiting the weight of all letters to an eighth of an 
ounce and the manufacture of an amal flotilla for 
postal purposes was begun. 

The story of the balloon post and the carrier pigeon 
service during the siege of Paris is one of the most 
interesting in the history of journalism. The balloons 
used were capable of sustaining a weight of something 
more than half a ton and of floating in the air for a 
period of ten hours. Such names as Vauban, Gari- 
baldi, Lafayette, Galileo and Daguerre were bestowed 
upon them, quite in the French fashion. The balloon 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS «51 

camion of the Germona were not able to stop the 
flight of these aerial voyagers, although occasionally, 
through the inexperience of some improvised aeronaut 
or some sudden escape of gas, one would fall into the 
hands of the enemy. After a time all balloons left 
the beleaguered dty under cover of darkness, but 
the winds played queer pranks with them, and during 
one period of ten days none was able to soar out 
of Paris. The Archimede came down in Holland, the 
Ville d'Orleims was carried across the North Sea to 
Norway, a distance of eight hundred and forty miles, 
which was covered in sixteen hours, and the Jacquard 
was lost at sea, being sighted last when five miles 
from the Eddystone light-house. In all sixty-four 
balloons left the city during the si^e, carrying in 
addition to their pilots nearly a hundred passengers 
and more than three millions of letters of three 
grammes each. 

VizeteUy was using the balloons for news purposes, 
but of the fate of his letters and sketches he was 
seldom informed. He was aware that it was necessary 
to take every precaution to seciwe the transmission 
of news to hb joum^, and he therefore made three 
photographs of every sketch that he sent out of the 
city, and placed the original and the photographs in 
four different balloons. Frequently all of them reached 
London safely, but sometimes only one arrived. 
Some came to the hands of the Eof^ish editors by way 
of Norway, and one, pidced up by a passing steamship, 
actually returned to England from the Cape of Good 
Hope. T^irough the vigilance of the Paris corre- 
spondent, the News was able to illustrate almost every 
inddent <A importance through the four months of 
the si^e. About twice a week VizeteUy would ascer- 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



852 FAMOUS WAR COIUtESPONDENTS 

tain when the next balloon waa to sail, and "aft^ 
all the cab-hones had been eaten," wrote he, "I 
was accustomed an hour before daybreak to trudge 
to one or another distant railway station where the 
baJloon was to ascend, to find far more often than 
was agreeable that, from the wind being in the wrong 
quarter, no ascent could be attempted that day. . . . 
Walking six or eight miles in the cold and rain would 
have been easy but for an empty stomach." 

What tidings came back to Paris were brought 
by carrier pigeons. The "arrival pigeons" were 
despatched with information of the place of a balloon's 
descent and news from the provinces. Many of them 
were found to be wounded by the rifle bullets of the 
Grennana, but more were tost on the road, for the 
season was not favorable to them, mists obscuring 
their sight and cold paralyzing their strength. The 
"departure pigeons," more than a thousand in number, 
were the most perfectly trained birds to be had in 
all France; their speed was estimated at more than a 
thousand yards a minute. The despatches borne 
by them were usually placed in a quill fastened to a 
tail-feather that remained immovable when the birds 
spread the tail to fly. The messages were always in 
cipher. An elaborate system of queries and answers 
was finally developed for the accommodation of the 
people of Uke city and their anxious friends without. 
These, written without cipher, were limited to twenty 
words, including names and addresses, containing 
no military information, and for which a charge of 
half a franc a word was levied. These were then set 
in type, printed and photographed, and thus they 
were made l^ble and their size was reduced to a 
trifle more than an inch square. The plan was an 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS 258 

etKwmous success. The three birds first sent carried 
a thousand despatches with information for ten thou- 
sand persons. For paper there were finally substituted 
thin films of collodion, ten times as thin and light as 
the lightest and thinnest tissue. 

Vizetelly had his adventures during this sic^e; 
several times he was arrested in various parts of thtf 
city but his incarcerations did not last long. As the 
usual passports were not recognized by his captors, 
he took pains to carry about with him receipts for 
rent dating back several years or old butchers* bills, 
as proof that he was an old resident of the city, and 
these he found more serviceable by far than any 
documents surmounted by the royal arms or signed 
by the British Secretary of State. The craze which 
he dubbed "spyopbobia" had seized the Parisians. 
No one was immune from suspicion. A light in an 
attic was a "signal," the white hands of a woman 
were "evidence." G. A. Sala was cast into a filthy 
cell, Henry Labouchere was in danger, and the Figaro 
started the notion that the blind beggars of Paris 
were spies. 

But hunger was the great enemy. Queue after 
queue formed before the butchers' shops as the people 
with pinched faces shivered and waited for their 
meagre dole of rations. Vizetelly's concierge devoted 
herself to the breeding of rabbits secretly in the deserted 
stables of the house in which he lived, but she 
demanded sixty and seventy francs each for them, 
and eventually found a buyer only in the chef of Baron 
Rothschild. When the surrender at last could be 
delayed no longer, there was not a cat left in the city, 
mules and horses had been eaten, and even the ele- 
phants on which the children rode in the parks had 



D,g,t7rrlb,.Gat>gIC 



«fi4 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

been slain. Potatoes cost dght pence each and e^^ 
three shillings apiece. On February 3B, 1871, the 
walls were placarded with a document declaring that 
"heartbroken with grief" the defenders laid aaide 
thdr arms, "surrendering only to famine." 

The correspondent of the News was not in the city 
through the entire siege. He was in bad health, and, 
having arranged with a draughtsman, photogn4}her8 
and aeronauts for the transmission of messages as 
long as the siege might still continue, he accepted the 
last opportunity afforded foreigners to quit the city, 
and with his son was taken through the lines. Having 
seen his family, he, with his son, joined the army of 
General Chanzy, and almost at once both were arrested 
and threatened with lynching out of hand. A crowd 
of infuriated National Guards, who saw a spy in every 
stranger and a signal in the production of an ordinary 
pocket handkerchief, were for shooting or drowning 
the father and son summarily, but luckily a half- 
dozen gendarmes stood firm with fixed bayonets and 
held ofif the yelling mob, and General Chanzy was 
satisfied with their papers. They were liberated, 
only within an hour to be arrested again, when they 
saw how hopeless it was to stay with this force and 
It^t for other scenes of the war. 

When the news of the capitulation of Paris reached 
Henry Vizetelly, he at once secured the necessary 
passptorts and, with two of his sons, Ernest and Arthur, 
returned to the capital. On March 1, he saw the 
mounted Germans ride beneath the Arc de Triomphe 
in all the pride of conquest. He witnessed the 
horrors of the Commime, and during the carnage in 
the streets was often in peril. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS 955 

Ernest Alfred Vizetelly was bom in 1863, and, 
therefore, was but seveoteen years old when he took 
service in the war between France and Germany 
as a correspondent and artist for the Daily Neva, 
the Pall MctU OazeOe, and the Illustrated London News. 
With his father he experienced the hardships and 
dangers of the siege of Paris. Wedged in a comer 
beside a statue in the Assembly Hall, with men fighting 
their way in and out, he witnessed many of the scenes 
attending the fall of the Empire, and when a "wave 
of surging men" landed him on the floor of the House 
near the tribune he heiu^ Gambetta declaring that 
"Louis Napoleon Bonaparte and his Dynasty have 
forever ceased to reign over France." Through the 
days of the si^e he was out and about the city, and 
his evenings were given to writing and to copying 
thumb-nail sketches. 

His father having gone on to England, the boy 
became a war correspondent on bis own account, 
with no r^nilar connection, but from Le Mans, where all 
supplies for both the army of the Loire and for the rdief 
d Paris were collected. He sent news to bis brother 
m London, who placed his copy, all of which was printed. 
After the battle of Le Mans, fought for three days 
amidst snow and ioe by 130,000 combatants, other 
correspondents were shut up in the town, but the 
boy escaped in a train and wrote a long article which 
was the first account of Chanzy's overthrow to appear 
in England with the exception of a few curt despatches. 
The lad's own description of his manner of life at 
that time, found in one of his novels of an autobio- 
graphical character, may be quoted: 

"It was a wonderful and an awful business. A Siberian 
tonperature, incessant snowstorms, whole re^moits desert- 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



256 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

ing, nulway lines blocked for vitlee by traina crammed mtli 
supplies for Fans; roads similarly blocked by nil the endless 
impedimenta of Chaiuy's forces; horses dybig by the way- 
side; famished soldiers cutting steaks from the flanlcs of 
the dead beasts and devouring them raw; others — hundreds, 
if not thousands — without proper footgear; some in boots 
of English make, whose composition soles had ^sappeared, 
leaving the uppers behind, others in sebot^, others ag^aia 
merely with rags around their feet, and yet others who 
trudged along absolutely barefooted, their toes frostbitten, 
until they fell despairing and exhausted on the snow to 
peaish there. . . . 

"Stoutly shod, wearing a heavy coat of Irish frieze 
specially sent me, I myself largely walked, only now and 
then securing a seat in one of the few trains ^lich were 
run over some short distance for some veiy special milits^y 
purpose. There could be no thought of a mount when 
horses were dying of exhaustion and starvation all around 
one. And I fiept anywhere, even as thousands slept, glad 
some nights of a comer on the stone flags of a cottage deserted 
by its owners." 

It was a "miniature retreat from Moscow." Then 
Paris fell and in forty-ei^t hours the lad was on his 
way thither with his father and one of hia brothers. 
From the time of the armistice to the end of the 
"Bloody Week," Ernest Vizetelly saw and helped to 
report ahnost every incident of importance in and 
about the city. He saw the fall of the Vendome 
column, he sketched the attack on the Elysee Palace 
from a balcony which was carried away by a shell 
a few minutes after he left it, and he saw the street 
fighting and the conflagrations. On Thursday of 
the " Bloody Week " he and two others were fired upon 
as they stood in the street by secreted Communists. 
One of the three fell into the arms of the other two, 
soatteiing them with blood; one bullet grazed the 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VIZETEIXYS 467 

neck of the correspoDcleni, and others lodged in the 
shutters of a shop in which he found a refuge. 

For years after the fidl ctf the Commune he 
continued on the Continent as a journalist, making 
journeys with his father in Austria, Spain, Italy and 
Portugal. Going to London in 1886 he embarked in 
publishing enterprises, preparing also English versions 
of the Zola novels. 

Montague Vizetelly, born in 1846, was the son of 
Henry Richard Vizetelly's older brother, and from 
1867 to 1860 was Paris correspondent for an English 
periodical. When the war which culminated with the 
capture of the French capital began he was commis- 
sioned by the Daily News to accompany the army of 
the Loire, and fell into the hands of the Germans at 
the battle of Le Mans. After some sixteen years of 
journalistic work he was sent out by The Times to 
the Italian campaign in Abyssinia, witnessing all 
the important engagements untU the Italian protector- 
ate was tacitly acknowledged by King Meneldc. 
For the Finandal Times he went with Colonel North, 
"the nitrate king," to South America, and returned 
by way of Panama during the French excavation 
period. The Manchester Courier then sent him to 
Newfoundland to investigate the fisheries problem. 
He was later attached to the staffs of the Datiy Chronicle 
and the Morning Advertiser as a specialist on military 
subjects. Montague Vizetelly was also the "Cap- 
tious Critic" d the lUitStrated Sporting and Dramatic 
News. His death occurred in 1897. 

The career of Frank Vizetelly was most eventful 
and his end was tragic. He was the youngest of the 
fotu* brothers of whom Henry Richard was the second 



DigitzrrlbyGOOglC. 



458 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

and the father of Montague was the fizst. Bom in 
1830, Frank was brought up by Henry to newspef>er 
work with the lUuttraied Times, and his first e^oit 
was achieved when Henry sent him to Paris after the 
birth oS the Prince Imperial. By some ingenious 
means he managed to secure admission to the presence 
of the Emperor. Napoleon m. remained in conver< 
sation with him for some little time, while the audacious 
young journalist was rapidly sketching a portrait 
in the nursery of the child for publication in an English 
illustrated weekly. When the war between Sardinia 
and Austria began he was sent to Italy to sketch the 
campaign for the London paper, and soon was for- 
warding breezy accoimts of his personal adventures 
and spirited drawings of military events. At Ales- 
sandria he was arrested as a spy, and prevented from 
reaching the front in time for the battle of Magenta. 

He watched the great battle of Solferino from the 
hill upon which Victor Emmanuel and the officers 
of his staff were grouped. The king was so absorbed 
with the conflict and the slaking of his thirst with an 
iron ladle from a rather decrepit bucket full of waAei 
that he did not notice the English artist busily sketch- 
ing several portraits of himself and his chief aides 
for a London periodical. 

To Sicily the artist was sent by the lUu^aied 
London Newa when Garibaldi made his famous expe- 
dition of The Thousand in I860. Early in May he 
arrived at Messina. Garibaldi at the time was half 
way across the island at Palermo and how to reach 
him was a problem. The Neapolitan officers would 
allow no passenger steamers to leave port for Palermo 
and Neapolitan troops patrolled the roads with ordov 
to stop travelers. Vizetelly secured aid from the 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS 8fi9 

akipper (^ a Bmall coasting vessel who. like most 
Sicilians) was secretly in sympathy with the red- 
shirted invaders. In the rig of a ^dlian mariner, 
with the reflation red Phrygian cap. the artist made 
the trip. He was entered duly as one of the crew 
under the name "Francesco VizetelU." When he 
landed. Garibaldi was fighting his way inch by inch. 
house by house, and street by street, through the 
city. In the opinion of George Macaulay IVevelyan, 
the biographer of the leader of The Tliousand, Vizet- 
etty'a reports of the campaign from this time on, 
derived largely from the narratives of the Garibaldini 
with whom he Hved on intimate terms, and his pictures 
of the incidents of that thrilUng period, are of great 
historical value. 

The street fighting was at its height when Vizetelly 
arrived. He sprat hours sketching unburied corpses, 
and ultimately came down with a fever, due to the 
odor, so it is said, of the dead bodies which for some 
time Uttered the streets. After some dayp be followed 
Garibaldi on the march to Messina, and was at his 
side during the fight at Melazzo when he sabred the 
Neapohtan commander. Various personal adventures 
befell the special during the march through the interior. 
In a lonely spot he was attacked by brigands and the 
horses of his carriage galloped him to safety. At 
Villafrati he met Alexandre Dumas pere, who was 
following the column through Sicily with an escort 
of young Frenchmen, and "throwing off as many 
sheets of copy in an hour as a cylinder machine would 
print in the same time," in the composition of the 
history of the revolution which " in reality is a Sicilian 
romance." 

With Garibaldi the artist went on to Naples. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



260 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

One of the moat spirited of bis drawings is that which 
ahows the Neapolitans inarching jubilantly throuf^ 
their streets to vote for annexation to the new Italy 
then in process of creation, wearing placards upon 
their breasts and carrying big flags, both inscribed 
with the all-sufficient word "Si." The pages of his 
papa are full of his pictures of camp scenes, skirmishes, 
charges, incidents of every sort which he witnessed 
in that most remarkable of campaigns. The fire 
that burned in the heart of Garibaldi himself seems 
to have been burning also in the heart of the corre- 
spondent. He was well acquainted with the gigantic 
Colonel Feard, "Garibaldi's Englishman." He saw 
Victor Emmanuel arrive at St. Angelo and coiitrived 
to meet him, just as he had managed to get access 
to liOuia Napoleon, and with humorous audacity he 
reminded the king (rf the battered bucket and the 
iron ladle on the hill at Solferino. He saw the fall 
of Gaeta also, and finally he went with Garibaldi to 
his little island kingdom of Caprera, where he spent a 
fortnight nuddng sketches of the house, the garden, 
and tbe rocks piled about the door, and going on 
fishing excursions with the man who had triumphantly 
completed an enterprise which had electrified En^and 
and amazed the world. 

In 1861, he was off to America tor the News. He 
met "Billy" Russell, a friend of the Vizetelly family, 
in Washington. On the expedition of General Bum- 
side to Roanoke Island he was giv^i a berth aboard 
the commander's ship, but upon his return to the capi- 
tal he was refused permission to join General McCIel- 
Ian, whereupon he hiirried to St. Louis to fdlow the 
Mississippi flotilla c4 gunboats. For two months 
he steamed up and down the river making sketches 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS 261 

of engagements. Having seen the taking of Memphis 
by the Federals, he came back again to Washington 
and there found Secretary Seward obdurate in his 
refusal to allow him to join McClellan before Rich- 
mond. Vizetelly was not at all disposed to follow 
the example of Russell and return home, but set out 
for the South and reached the Coofed^ate ci^ital 
by the "underground route." 

That trip across the lines was extremely perilous. 
The Englishman shrewdly suspected that one or two 
of his acquaintances in the capital were in sympathy 
with the South. To one man he mentioned his desire 
to join the Confederates, and following the instructions 
then given him, he furnished a photograph of himself 
and received in return a minute description of the 
man he would find on a certain day on a West River 
steamboat bound for Baltimore. This man he must 
not particularly notice nor address, but when the man 
landed the artist must land and without asking any 
questions whatev^ he must follow whithersoever the 
stranger might lead. Thus he was guided to a lonely 
place where he foimd a carriage and a fine pair of 
horses, and was conveyed to a beautiful home twelve 
miles away, there to be entertained in elaborate 
fashion. Every member of the household listened 
with the greatest deference to Vizetelly, a circumstance 
which he did not fully understand until he learned 
by accident that he was supposed to be an emissary 
of the government of England. So day after day he 
was oitertained in the mansions at which his drivers 
stopped, until the fourth day, whoi he reached the 
Patuxent River and was rowed across by n^roes in 
a flat-bottomed boat, the only craft on the stream 
which had not been destroyed by the Federals. 



1,. Google 



262 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

One day more brought him to Leonard's Town 
on the Potomac, where he was welcomed by a secret 
conmiittee of Southern sympathizers, and entrusted 
by mothers, sisters, wives and sweethearts with scores 
(A letters for their male friends who had fled from 
Maryland to join Lee and Jackson. There was not 
a boat to be found on the river. In a hoUowed-out 
tree-trunk he was paddled out upon the stream by 
a negro called Job, under cover of darkness. The 
plashing of the paddle was heard by a watchful patrt^ 
aboard a Federal scout steamer and a solid shot was 
fired in their direction. Job was stiff with fear. 
Vizetelly held a revolver to his head and compelled 
him to paddle like mad for the Maryland shore. The 
dug-out was secreted amid the tall rushes along the 
bank. For hours the Federal searchlights were flashed 
up and down the river and the shore and then an anchor 
was let go, and for two days the o^ro and the artist 
were compelled to crouch in their hollow log amid 
the reeds without food, scorched by the sun by day 
and tortured by mosquitoes at night. On the second 
day Vizetelly managed to let the diig-out drift down 
stream a little, still covered by the reeds, to a spot 
where he found some fine oysters embedded on the 
banks. The artist climbed out and obtained a meal, 
but, be used afterward to declare, "he could not fill 
up Job, who had a mouth that yawned like a grave- 
yard full of tombstones, but still with an unlimited 
capacity to bury." 

The following night they had the satisfaction of 
seeing the Federal patrol steam full speed down river 
and two hours of hard paddling brought them to the 
Virginia shore. Two young Marylanders guided him 
to the Rappahannock, - eluding the scouting parties 



„,glc 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS 268 

<rf the UnioQ armies. Richmond was reached just 
as the advance of the Federals was repulsed, in the 
fall of 1862. 

Now for nearly three years Vizetelly was in the 
South, and very popular he became with many of 
the leaders of the "cause." Of him Mrs. Burton 
Harrison speaks in her "Becollections," recalling how 
he sang and told stories and danced jku seult, "and 
was as plucky in the saddle as on the battlefield." 
With General "Jeb" Stuart he went on several daring 
cavalry raids. He was with Longstreet at Fredericks- 
burg, and upon one occasion at Chickamauga served 
as his aide, riding successfully with an important 
message from the general to the commander of a 
distant post after two preceding messengers had been 
picked off by the Federal sharpshooters. For this 
exploit he was made an honorary captain on the field 
of battle. In February, 186S, he went to Charleston, 
and wrote what is said to be the only account of the 
bombuxlment which was ever written from the inside. 

During all this time he was sending sketches and 
portraits to his journal, but numbers of these drawings 
and letters failed to reach London. They had to 
be sent out of the country aboard blockade runners 
and the Federal scouts captured a good many of 
these vessels. Thus the Englishman's drawings fell 
into Northern hands and it became a rather common 
thing for Vizetdly pictures to appear in Harper's 
Weeidy, much to the disgust of the editors In London. 
However, the artist's work was r^arded as contra- 
band of war. 

The acoount tA the bombardment d Charlesttm 
is d remarkable interest. The correspondent tells 
how he looked out upon "the magnificent view <A the 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



264 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

broad bay and islands of the harbor of Charleston** 
with the general in command ot the district; how a 
good ^ass revealed the "iron-turreted ships of the 
enemy swaying lazily to and fro with the ground 
swell;" and how the people ot the city had been 
anxiously awaiting the Federal assault which they 
knew to be imminent. Under the windows n^roes 
were loading shot and shell for Fort Sumter. The 
citizen reserves, made up of gray-haired planters, 
clergymen, artisans and others, were ready for service. 
A long line of ambulances were waiting to receive the 
wounded. In several homes in which he called the 
artist found all the ladies assembled in their drawing 
rooms, dressed in deep mouming, and all picking lint. 
One colored "aunty" addressed VIzetelly thus: "Lor- 
a^mussy, boss! Is dem cussed bobolitionists gwine 
to shoot their big guns 'mongst us women folks? 
They's better go ri^t clean away." 

Hie correspondent watched the approach of the 
Northern ships through bis glass while he could " almost 
hear the thumping of his heart against his ribs." 
Everybody in the city, ladies not excepted, hurried 
to the Battery whence there might be had a clear view 
of the fleet and of the forts. Soon more than a hundred 
eight-inch and ten-inch guna "were joined in a terrible 
chorus." With General Ripley, Vizetelly was rowed 
toward the scene of action. Their way lay right in 
the path of particles of shell and of solid shot that 
ricochetted over the waters, but before the fleet blocked 
the channel they were safe under the parapet of one 
of the battmes. Vizetelly saw the Ironside and 
the Keokuk and other monitors driven back, and 
passed the night in Fort Sumter. ' Next morning the 
attack was not renewed. Five days aft«r Uie armada 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VKETELLYS 265 

departed and the first chapter of the si^e was ovee. 

To Mississippi, where he was with Greneral Johnston, 
came the news of the renewal of the assault, and five 
days of incessant travel brought Vizetelly to the 
city in time to see the attack by land and sea on Fort 
Wagner. For fifteen hours he watched that formidable 
bombardment. He rowed down the harbor when 
the night assault was made. When the flat-bottomed 
transport reached Morris Island and the men waded 
ashore they could hear the Southern yell and the 
Northern hurrah. Reaching the Battery just after 
the r^ulse of the assailants, ^^zetelIy found "the 
worn-out garrison lying panting under the parapet, 
while on that parapet lay the dead and dying of the 
enemy who had reached thus far. From a low bomb- 
proof chamber, feebly lit by a battle lantern, came 
the groans of the Confederate wounded, broken here 
and there by the sharp cry of some poor fellow who 
was writhing under the surgeon's knife." 

The bombardment was renewed day after day. 
At a distance df nearly three miles three hundred-pound 
bolts WGK sent "crashing through the brickworic of 
the gray old sentinel that had so long kept watch 
and ward over Charleston." Day after day the flag 
would be shot away and always some brave fellow 
would replace it. Twice the Federals were fought 
back when they tried to gain an entrance to the harbor. 
" Now," says Vizetelly, " the Federal General was guilty 
of the barbarity which disgraced him as a soldier. 
Unable to capture the forts in his immediate front, 
he intimated that unless they were surrendered, he 
would turn the most powerful of his guns upon the 
rity." 

In the middle of the night of August SI, Vixetelly 



DigiUnlbyGOOglC 



266 FAMOUS WAR CORHESPONDENTS 

was listening to the caimonadet unable to sleep because 
of the heat, and reading Hugo's Waterloo chapters 
in "Lea Miserables." There came a crash and a 
deafening explosion in the very street in which he was 
living and he bounded into the centre of the room 
in astonishment. The shelling had bc^n. There were 
both tragedy and comedy in the city that night. 
The hotel was full of speculators brought to Charleston 
by the sale of some blockade negroes, and these men 
were rushing about the corridors in frenzy. One 
portly individual was trotting about in a costume 
which consisted of the boot he wore and the otho- 
which he carried in his hand. He had rushed from his 
room, foi^tten the number, and in distress was search- 
ing every corridor. The streets filled with men and 
women making their way to the upper parts of the 
dty and safety. Tlie volunteer fire brigades were 
busy, and the members of a n^ro company fought 
a fire with courage and copiously cursed the "boboU- 
tionists." Vizetelly watched the bombardment for 
several hours from the Battery promenade. And 
here his account abruptly breaks off. 

On several occasions the artist himself ran the 
blockade. Soon after the bombardment he was in 
England for a brief season. At the supper given in 
London for Manager Bateman of the Lyceum and 
his daughter, Kate, who already had achieved success 
in her famous character of Leah, Frank Vizetelly, 
who was an excellent raconteur and a good mimic d 
both voice and action, almost "made" the evening, 
with his fund of anecdotes of the American battle- 
fields and of life in the Southern States. Vizetelly 
had slipped away to London also when Garibaldi 
made his famous visit there in 1864, and he was the 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS 267 

constant companion of the Italian hero while the 
English populace was going mad over him. Vizetdly 
would forgather with hia friends at the Cheshire 
Cheese and suddenly be off again without a good-bye 
for any one. He saw many of the important engage- 
ments of the closing years of the American Civil War 
and left the States for good early in 1865. 

Now there was a period of comparative ease until 
the outbreak of hostilities between Austria and Prussia 
in 1866, when the News at once sent the special to 
Vienna. Another interval (^ quiet followed the Seven 
Weeks War. Vizetelly dabbled in dramatic and 
newspaper ventures and was popular as a cartoonist. 
When news came that Don Carlos had raised his 
standard in the Basque Ihrovinces, the artist, surely 
now to be rated a veteran, was off to Spain for the The 
Times. It was here that he became a close associate 
of O'Shea of the Standard, the writer of the "Round- 
about Recollections, " in which there are many affection- 
ate allusiona to Vizetelly. 

O'Shea describes how the artist "ruffled it among 
the followers of Don Carlos," as El Conde de Vizetelly, 
ser^iely wearing his romantic and sonorous title. 
The bodyguard of his Catholic Majesty was composed 
of French, Austrians, Italians, Germans, grandees 
of Spain, soldiers of fortime of every sort, and behind 
every second man there was a story. Vizetelly was 
at home among these men; they liked him and he 
liked the guerilla warfare. 

The insurrection over, the restless artist crossed 
the Pyrenees into France and lived for a year or two 
at l^udaye. With careless audacity, he organized 
a band of former followers of Don Carlos into a com- 
pany <A smugglers. They were experienced mou^ 



DigiUrrlbyGOOglC 



268 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

taineers, reckless of coDsequences and very willing to 
embarrass the customa authoritiea of one country or 
both. It was dangerous business, however, for in 
the dead of ni^t their contraband goods were brought 
across the frontier on their backs. With minute 
precautious they tranq>ed the mountain trails; a 
single stone loosened from the track and dropping 
into the valley below would disclose their situation 
to the guards and the eoHnnerot would be shooting 
at them. 

Quitting Hendaye, he made drawings of chateaux 
and vineyards in the wine districts of France. Next 
he visited Paris. After Paris came Tunis, and after 
Tunis, Egypt, where his n^bew, Edward Henry 
Vizetelly, was amazed by 'his appearance in Alex- 
andria just in time fc>r the bombardment. Frank 
made the twenty-ninth in the little company who 
endured the perils of the time in the fortified building 
of the Anglo-Egyptian bank. Says the younger anre- 
gpondent: "Whom should I behold but my old unde, 
the veteran of two hemispheres? Althou^ somewhat 
battered by years of travel uid adventure, he still 
stood erect, but looked stout and rubicund, the florid 
tone of his countenance standing out in lively contrast 
to the whiteness of his hair clipped close to his skull, 
and his thick, snow-like mustache." 

The night following the shelling of the city, when 
the fires were roaring all around them and the shouts 
of the looters and frequept fusillades of the street 
fighters were borne to their ears, where they kept 
guard in the bank building, the nephew caught sight 
of the figure of his unde from time to time in sudden 
bursts of glare. He had "discarded his coat and 
in shirt and trousers with a handkerchief knotted 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS 269 

about his brow was stalking round with hia gun at 
his hip." 

The final scene was just at hand. Vizetelly ar- 
ranged with the Graphic to go to the Soudan with 
Hicks Pasha. The expedition was badly planned, 
badly officered, badly manned and badly guided. 
Slatin Pacha in his "Fire and Sword in the Soudan," 
writing from his position with the Mahdi, says: "Ten 
thousand men in square formation, with six thousand 
camels in their midst, were to march through districts 
ovei^rown with vegetation and grass taller than a 
man's height. . . . They must be ready at any moment 
for the attack of an enemy far more numerous and 
as well armed as themselves, besides being infinitely 
better fighters. ... Six thousuid cameb huddled 
together in the centre of the square presented a perfect 
forest of heads and necks; it was impossible for a 
bullet fired by one of the enemy from behind a tree 
to miss altogether this gigantic tai^t." 

Od November 3, 188S, they were attacked. The 
next day they continued the march, leaving a heap 
of dead behind them, but before they had advanced 
a mile they were assailed by a round hundred thou- 
sand wild fanatics concealed among the trees. The 
square was broken in a twinkling and the massacre 
b^^. Under a large tree the European officers 
and a few of the Turkish offices made a stand, but 
almost to a man they were cut down. Thousands 
<rf dead bodies were left piled in heaps upon the field 
ci the slau^ter, every body divested of every scrap 
of clothing. 

llie body of Frank Vizetdly was never found. 
For a long time there was a persistent rumor that 
he al(me escaped, as news came ^m Dongola that 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



470 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

there was an artist in the camp of the MahdL When 
the Gordon Relief Expedition was organized Lead 
Wolselqr promised to try to rescue Vizetelly, but not 
a shred of authentic information has ever come out 
of the Soudan about the brave arUst. To Slatin 
Facha fell the melancholy duty of lotddng over the 
documents which came into the hands of the Mahdi. 
"Poor Vizetelly made his sketches," he writes. 
"O'Donovan wrote his lUaiy, but who was to send 
them home to those who were so anxiously awaiting 
them?" 

The diary and that of Colonel Farquhar were read 
by ^atin Pacha, who is still living and is now the 
resident officer at Khartoum, and "terribly sad" 
th^ were. Both men had foreseen precise^ what 
occurred, as no doubt had Vizetelly. In one place 
the officer had recorded: "I spoke to Mr. O'Donovan 
today, and asked him vviiere we should be eight days 
hence. 'In Kingdom Come!' waa his reply." Upon 
the memorial tablet in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral 
in London, the name of O'Donovan comes ffist, with 
Frank Vizetelly's next, tbus: 

FRANK VIZETELLY 
ARTIST, CASHGILL, NOVEMBER, 188S. 

Edward Heniy ^%etelly, bom in 1847, and known 
to numbers of newspaper readers as "Bertie Clere," 
was educated in Fhutce, and, true to the traditions 
of the family, promptly availed himsdf of the <q>* 
portunity for adventure when the war of 1870 began. 
As the special for the Daily News and the New York 
Times, he became the orderly officer on the staff ol 
Garibaldi} who performed excellent service with his 
insular forces in the Vosges. Jaunty enouf^, and 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS «71 

resolute, too, did the young Englishman in the uni- 
form of the Garibaldian Brigade appear, as his portrait 
indicates. Later it fell to him to record some of 
the events of the Commune in Marseilles. The with- 
drawal of French troops from Algiers provided the 
opening for a formidable insurrection and the young 
special next reported the severe fighting which 
ensued in northern Africa in 1871. 

Several years in London were enough to weaiy 
him of Fleet Street and the Strand. The war doud 
was hovering over the Danubian region in 1876, and 
Edward Vizetdly journeyed east to enlist in the 
service of the Sultan. He became a Bashi-Bazouk, 
saw a good deal of adventure In Asia Minor, and through 
the campaign sent letters to the Standard. He landed 
at Constantinople at a critical time. There were 
Hungarians, Poles, Frenchmen, Swiss, Germans, 
Italians, Carlists, Communists, and other Bevolu- 
tionista of various denominations, all like himself 
seeking occupation and excitement at Pera and all 
trying to enter the Ottoman army, but questions of 
religion and language seemed to be fatal obstacles. 
The best chance offered in Asia, where European com- 
petitcffs were fewer. A Circassian r^ment was 
forming at Trefoizond, and the young ' Enf^hman 
shaved his head and arrayed himself in a Circassian 
costume and joined it. Turk and Circassian alike 
seemed to r^ard the infidel hi^y, and, for that 
matt^, so he bore himself well in arms, no questions 
were nused as to the race and little attention was 
given to the reli^on of a Bashi-Bazouk. These 
Turkish irre^pilars were recruited somewhat as the 
famous Foreign Legion is formed. Doubtless the 
recollecticn of General Sir Fenwick Williams's brilliant 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



272 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

defence of Kars more than tw^ity years before had 
something to do with the favor shown the English 
soldier of fortune. 

After some time among the mountains of Asia 
Minor, the whole of the Circassian force, more than 
eleven hundred men, dissatisfied with the treatment 
of some of their comrades, deserted. The En^ish- 
mui was a waif in the camp and the Commander-in- 
Chief intimated that he might stay with his orderly 
officers. Months of inactivity followed, during which 
he was intimate with Edmond O'Donovan, who, 
with several other specials, had joined the force. It 
became certain that Kara again was to be subjected 
to a Russian si^e, and that those who would not 
be cooped up in the fortress must leave at once. With 
O'Donovan and Gaston Lemay, a French correspond- 
Mit, Vizetelly rode for Erzeroum. He had his troubles 
and faced some dangers on that retreat. Storms 
so furious that his horse flatty refused to advance 
stopped him. Rains made the road a morass; the 
soles dropped off his boots and for miles he struggled 
forward barefooted. Befriended by Kurds, he at last 
reached his destination, where he instantly wrote 
uid sent off a long letter to the Standard, After some 
days a telegram was put into his hand which read: 
" All your letters published. Draw on me for a himdred 
pounds. Mudford." The money was of immediate 
use, and the English Bashi-Bazouk rejoiced exceedingly 
at the prospect before him. 

Winter foimd him still at Erzeroum, with the wire 
embargoed by the Turks and the Standard telegraphing 
almost frantically for news. Occasional messengers 
eluded the vigilance of the Turks and got to the coast 
bearing letters which once a week might be sfaq>ped 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VEETEIXYS 873 

out of Trebizond. On the night preceding the depart 
ture of a messenger, Vizetelly and O'Donovan would 
take their places opposite each other at a large table, 
with a supply of tobacco, paper and pens, and write 
steadily through the hours until sunrise. 

After Christmaa it was necessary to be off again 
to escape being shut up in the town. A few despatches 
wfflre forwarded, imder difficulty, in Turkish, to be 
sent on in English from Constantinople by the resid^it 
representative of the paper. After an absence of 
about nine months Vizetelly once more landed in the 
Sultan's capital. O'Donovan was away ere long 
for Batoum, whence he set out on his famous ride 
to Merv. Events on the Bosphorus were not now 
of great interest to the public, and the Standard had 
little use for the six or seven specials who were lounging 
at Pera. Opportunely enough, an insurrection broke 
out in Thessaly and Epirus, and Vizetelly promptly 
took passage for Athens. 

With the English occupation of Cyprus, Vizetelly 
left for that island as correspondent for the Glasgow 
Herald. Partly as a prank, and in part as a speculation, 
he founded the Cyprus Times, a weekly paper in En^ish, 
whose pages were kept sprightly enough by his own 
facile pen and by a corps of gay contributors. But 
events in the valley of the Nile, where the Arabist 
movement was progressing, b^an to interest him, 
and in February, 1882, the Cyprus Times ceased to 
appear, and a steamship bore the editor to Egypt. 
The Alexandria representative of the Daily Nffios, Mr. 
3. C. Chapman, saw the advantage of having a reliable 
man at Cairo and enlisted his services. He was 
also employed upon the Bombay Oasette and the 
Egyptian Gazette. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



274 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

On June 11. 1882, a boy brought him a tdegnun 
from Chapman which read thus: 

" Crowds of Arabs armed with nabouts are parading 
the streets, massacring all the Europeans they come 
across." 

The next day there was panic all owx Egypt. 
Europeans and other foreigners at once fled from 
Cairo. On the fifteenth, Vizetelly went to Alexandria, 
which he found a deserted city, save for the soldiers 
who had been crammed into it, with business at a 
standstill and the streets destitute of vehicles except 
the baggage drays clattering to the Fort with th^ 
loads of luggage. Steamships and chartered sailing 
vessels carried thousands of fugitives to Malta, Mar- 
seilles, Naples, the Piraeus, and Cyprus. Ordered by 
the Khedive and even by the Sultan to cease all 
armaments, Axabi continued preparing in every way 
for hostilities, setUng Europe and the Sultan at 
defiance. He was intoxicated with his own rapid rise 
to power. But it was evident that England intended 
to take vengeance for the murder of her six or more 
British-bom subjects and for the brutalities inflicted 
upon her Consul and Judge. Warnings were sent to 
the commandant of Arabi's forts that no more guns 
must be moimted on the sea defences. The Arabists 
paid no heed. At dawn on July 10, the British Admiral 
forwarded an ultimatum to the commandant. 

The instant the word "bombardment" was passed 
about, the Europeans, who had refused to recognize 
the danger of their position, stampeded from the city. 
Of these loiterers the last did not get away until the 
afternoon before the shelling of the city began. Some 
had remained out of necessity to care for their duties. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS 1875 

Chapman departed on the morning of the 10th in a 
steam launch for one of the English ships. 

Vizetelly now put to his credit one of his two unique 
achievemraits; he decided to stay in the city through 
the bombardment. Of the events of those uiom^itous 
days and nights he kept a half-hoiurly diary, which 
appeared in full in the Bombay Gazette of August 3, 
and, somewhat abridged, in the Daily News of July 18. 
Geo^e Goussio, the manager of the Anglo-Egyptian 
bank, had enlisted followers and stocked the strong 
bank building with provisions, intending "to see the 
thing through on land." With Goussio were eight 
stalwart men, armed to the teeth and picturesquely 
clad in their native Montenegrin dress, who had served 
as messengers for banks and commercial houses; 6ve 
more of the "garrison" were Greeks of the desperado 
type. These thirteen men were quartered downstairs 
with the big safes for battlements. Upstairs were 
Goussio and his wife, two English business mea, a 
French railway man, two Gredc friends of Goussio's, 
an Italian cook, a Berberin servant, three European 
handmaidens, and Vizetelly, who was astonished by 
the arrival of his uncle, Frank, just in time for the 
ezcitem^it ot the bombardment. Across the street 
in the house of an Italian banker four armed Greeks 
vere stationed to defend their door in case of assault, 
llie water supply was stored in several large baths. 
The upper part of the house could be isolated by the 
blowing up of the staircase. And upon the desks 
where the ledgers reposed in times of peace there now 
ytere deposited boxes and ordinal^ soda water bottles 
chaiged with dynamite to be flung out of the windows 
if a mob charged the premises. 

On July 11, at 7.15 in the morning, Goussioshook 



„,glc 



«76 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

his friend awake and Vizetelly hurriedly put on his 
clothes amidst the booming of big gum. Within an 
hour shells were passing over the bank. In the diaiy 
which Vizetelly kept oS the bombardment, and which 
is an historical document of value, one may read: 
"SJiO A.H., Shells biusting near us; Arabs fledng in 
cabs and on foot, the latter howling in terror. 
SJiS A.M., Just been up on terrace, i.e., the flat roof 
of the house. Can see nothing, but can bear lai^ 
projectiles rushing through the air. 9£0 A.U., Boys 
in the street tearing the telephone wires down from 
the Italian banker's opposite, amidst shouts and ydls. 
10.7 A.U., Two cabs full of dead artillerymen just gone 
by, the bodies fastened in by cords. 1 p.m., Crowd of 
children with green flag passed down the street towards 
the FoH calling upon Allah and beating empty petro- 
leum tins. 6.10 P.H., Continued and ever-increasing 
demonstrations of joy, clapping of hands and so forth. 
First report: Two English ships sunk. Second report: 
Turkish troops arrived. 7.S0 p.m.. Several of us went 
out on the balcony. Noticed that most of the people 
passing scowled very savagely at us. Came in and 
shut shutters." 

At nine the city was quiet and all hands turned in 
to get some rest. The night passed without incident, 
but the position of the little company was critical; 
they were in fear of an incursion <^ Bedoum and the 
sacldng of the town. The next morning the exodus 
of the natives continued with feverish haste. At 
18.40 that day Vizetelly made this entry in his diary: 
"We are keeping up courage splendidly but the moment 
is an anxious one and everyone is dreading that ominous 
knock on the door which is sure to be followed by a 
demand for admissicm. We cannot d'sgiiiiw from 



.:,,. Google 



THE FIVE VtZETELLire 277 

ourselves the fact that a great nuuiy, a very great 
many, soldiers and civilians have met their death in 
the bombardment, and that the people remaining 
here are naturally very incensed against Europeans." 
A little after one thae was a knock on the door. A 
letter had come horn the hospital, and amid almost a 
riot between the soldiers and the populace it was drawn 
up to the upp«r windows by a string. The looting 
of the city had already begun. 

Among the records of the day are these: "iA5 
P.M., Arabs and soldiers going by laden with loot. 
Can hear the mob breaking into the houses hard by. 
S.08 P.U., The soldiers have just smashed in the shutters 
d a large provision warehouse c^posite. S.SO p.m.. 
Someone has been trying to introduce a crowbar 
between the two flaps of our door. 6.25 p.h., Gouasio's 
house, higbn up the street, is ablaze. 6.15 p.il.. Our 
street above the bank is alight ou both sides now, and 
the flames are descending this way. 10 p.u.. We 
are now in the midst oi hxamng houses." 

Through the night they continued to open their 
doors to refugees who sou^t safety, among them 
Hanson, correspondent of the Paris Clarion, and 
Landry, the representative of the Havas Agency. 
By 10.20, there were sixty-seven persons in the bank. 
To save themselves it was obviously necessary to keep 
a lai^ circle round thdr premises free from the flames. 
To do this, all through the night they made sallies 
from the bank to drive off the bands of incendiaries, 
who were provided with bundles of cotton steeped 
in petroleum with which they fired the shops they 
sacked. 

Once that awful night Vizetelly was in serious 
peril. He was out with some of the Monten^rins. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



278 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

The enemy proved formidable and the Montenegrins 
ran for the bank, and got wedged in the one flap 
of the double door which was open, leaving the English- 
man on the outside with the looters near, expecting 
any instant that his "loins would be riddled with 
lead." The Monten^rins did not squeeze through in 
time, and Vizetelly thus describes his escape: 

"I remembered there was a blind alley on the right-hand 
side of our premises. I slipped away into it. It was pit<^ 
dark. A mansion on the right next to ours had been broken 
into and wrecked. The aperture of a ground-ftoor window 
stripped of its Venetian shutters and framework was gaping 
before me. With infinite precaution I slipped over the 
sill, but was no sooner inside the room than it seemed to 
me I heard some heavy breathing, as if another human 
being were there in sound slumber. I could see notlung. 
Just at that moment there came a vivid flash, promptly 
followed by a murderous explosion of firearms. Then all 
was still again, save for the roar of the flames in the distance 
and the heavy respiration close at hand. Without troubling 
to penetrate that mystery I cautiously got out of the window 
again into the blind alley. A double iron gate stood before 
me, spiked at the top, and some fifteen feet high. It led 
to a small yard at the back of the bank premises. I had 
never done much climbing, but the agility with which I 
scaled that iron gate would have excited the admiration 
of a steeple- jack. Once in the yard I soon was able to attract 
the attention of the inmates of the bank, and hy the aid of 
a ladder first placed against an outhouse, then hauled up 
and extended bridge>way to a window, I reached home ag^. 
Inquiry elicited that the volley I had heard had come from 
the fiirst floor of our premises. The miscreants, debouching 
from the court whibt the Montenegrins were still blocked 
in the doorwtQr, had been received by a discharge from the 
upper windows which had scattered them." 

A cab crammed with loot was seized and so placed 
at the edge of the pavement as to make a barricade 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS «7e 

for their door. At midnight the danger of being 
hemmed in by the conflagration was threatening, and 
they blew up a neighboring numsioQ with dynamite 
to make a gap in the way of the fires. But the 
Montenegrins, who did not like flames, were becoming 
unmanageable; also they were infected with the lust 
for loot. After a long consultation it was decided 
that they must vacate the city and make for the ships. 
Tlie Berberin servant sent forth to reconnoitre the water- 
front brought the news that the city was abandoned 
by the military and that the port could be reached. 
At a second coimcil it was voted to march forth at 

On a "lovely July morning" the company of 
refugees marched through pillaged Alexandria. Huge 
fires raged on each side of them and the heat was 
furnace-like. The leaves of the trees were singed 
and the trunks seamed. The only sounds were the 
roar of fiames and the crackling of wood. They kept 
in a compact body, six deep and rectangular. Two 
scores of womoi and children, some of them babies 
in arms, were placed in the centre with well-armed 
men about them. A maid servimt caused a laugh even in 
that time ol extremity when she appeared with a 
parrot and a canary in separate cages. Goussio and his 
wife mardied side by side in the van. The Berbrain 
strolled ahead as a scout. They strode as rapidly 
as pos^ble without out-stepping the women, and 
reached the sea safely. On the way Vizetelly noted 
a Maltese lying stripped and quite dead with an Arab 
brute, armed with a nabout, gloating over him. Twice 
he brought his bludgeon down upon the skull of the 
already dead man. Unable to endure the sight, the 
Englishman slipped from the c<dumn and fired two 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



280 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

bullets into the Arab as he was raising his dub for 
another blow. "I have never experienced any qualms 
o£ conscience," wrote the correspondent. 

They found boats with sails and oars, rowed to the 
outer harbor, and were taken on board the Helicon, a 
despatch boat which had been sent to look for refugees 
and to reconnoitre. Says Vizetelly : 

"We must have had the cut of a perfect band t^ des- 
peradoes, as one by one we ascended the companion ladder: 
Monten^rins in Uieir strange dress, guns in th^ fists and 
a small armoury of big silver-mounted knives and pistds 
protruding from their belts; Greeks in shabby European 
attire, dutching the barrels of their fowling-pieces, or dis- 
playing bulky revolver-cases strapped about th^ waists. 
Even the well-to-do amongst ub presented a dirty, unkempt 
appeaxan.ce, and I noticed the trim officers of the navy 
scan us askance as we passed before them. No one had 
washed or been between the sheets for three nights." 

The refugees were distributed among various vessds. 
Vizetelly was taken on the P. and O. steamer Tanjore, 
to which Chapman hurried in a steam launch from 
the Admiral's ship. To hb mute look of anxious 
inqiury the correspondent said, "It's all right," and 
handed him his notebook containing the diary. Next 
morning Ch^man brought back the book with orders 
that Vizetelly should leave that day for Port Said 
to watch events. He was in a sorry plight, and glad 
enough to accept the loan of a shirt from the youngs 
Frank Scudamore, although the latter was much 
the smaller man. 

The diary was to have been wired to Lond(m in the 
form in which it was printed in the Bombay paper, 
but the pressure on the cable was enormous and long 
press messages could not be sent promptly, so that 
the Daily News published only a portion of the reccnd. 



DigiUrrlbyGOOglC 



THE FtVE VIZETELLYS 881 

When the diarist reached Port Said he received a 
long tel^ram from Sir John Robinson strenuously 
ui^ing him to wire the most complete details of his 
Alexandrian experiences. But it was one of those 
unique importunities that force of circumstuices 
compel the most able specials sometimes to miss, 
tor the message refiched 'N^zetelly ten days late, and 
then by post as the overland wires were in the hands 
of the Arabists. The full atory was not printed until 
'\^zetelly published his most oitertaining volume, 
"Frcon Cyprus to Zanzibar." 

On July 14, a British Naval Brigade entered Alex- 
andria, as a police force, to end the incendiarism and 
pillaging, and that proved to be the commencement 
of the British occupation of Egypt. Before long 
Vizetelly was in his old quarters in Cairo. Again he 
joined the Egyptian. Gasette, with which he remained 
some years, going then to a small sheet called the 
Timea of Egypt. He mixed freely in all the life of 
Cairo and Alexandria, and one afternoon was com- 
manded to appear at the palace, where the Khedive 
decorated him with the Order of the Medjidieh. 

Meeting James Grordon Bennett, he began another 
remarkable chapter in his eventful career. Bennett 
was cruising in his yacht, the Namouna, and wired 
Vizetelly to meet him at Alexandria, when he pro- 
ceeded abruptly to business, as thus recounted by 
the Englishman: 

"'I want you for Zanzibar. It's an awful place, 
you know. You get the fever tha«, and die in a wedc. 
So if you don't like taking the job on, I'll pay your 
expenses back to Paris, and give you something for 
yourself, and there'll be an end to the matter.' 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



882 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

•"111 go,' I anwered; 'I'll go to Ilmbuctoo if 
you like.* 

"'Oh very well then, that settles the matta. 
You'd better come and dine on board tonight, at seven.' 

"And oflf he went." 

Vizetelly was on board for some time. Bennett 
dubbed him "The Pirate." In the harbor of Beyrout 
he made the famous swim around the yacht in waters 
infested with sharks, and, although he saw none that 
night, the yarn was told in Paris for years after, how 
both Bennett and he had swam around the Namouna 
amidst a shoal of man-eaters. 

While on board Bennett gave him minute instruc- 
tions. He was to go to Zanzibar and devote his time 
and ingrauity to finding the whereabouts of Henry M. 
Stanley, who then had been away from touch with 
the world for eighteen months on his expedition for 
the relief of Emin Pasha. The instant he got news 
of Stanley, Vizetelly was to hurry into the interior 
to meet the explorer, taking him comforts and a letter 
of introduction from the man who had sent him to 
find Livingstone, and securing from him a letter tac 
the New York Herald. And above all else, he was to 
beat a New York World man named Thomas Stevens, 
who was looking out for Stanly for a like purpose. 

For six months Vizetelly was at Zanzibar with 
time hanging heavily on his hands. There was but 
one mail a month, and the newspaper man found him- 
self isolated from the world. There were rumors 
in plenty about Stanley; of reliable information there 
was none. It was known that Stanley had met Tlppoo* 
Tib, and the rest was conjecture. 

A telegram came from Bennett ordering his rep- 
resentative to procure an American flag for presen- 



DigitzrrlbyGOOglC 



THE FIVE VIZETELLYS «8S 

tation to Stanley when he should be found. But no 
such flag was to be had in Zanzibar, and the English 
special borrowed one from a United States warship 
which happened to be in port, and had a Genoese 
outfitter make him a half-size copy of the huge banner. 
The flag was barely ready when definite news <rf the 
explorer arrived at last. Alas! It was necessary 
to travd through Grerman territory to meet Stanley 
and permission was refused. If granted to one cor- 
respondent the privil^e must also be given Stev^is, 
and the Commissioner did not want two American 
caravans traveling through the Grerman possessiona, 
where an insurrection had been put down with diflSculty, 
and displaying a new flag which might disturb the 
n^ro mind. VizeteUy cabled the facts to Bennett 
in Paris. The publisher replied that the German 
Ambassador in the French capital was his friend, and 
the result, arranged by mail between Paris and Berlin, 
was that the secretary to the German Consulate at 
Zanzibar told VizeteUy privately that a cable had 
come from Prince Bismarck ordering that the special 
be allowed to pass through German territory to meet 
the explorer if his presence would not interfere with 
military operations. And a few hours later came a 
cable from Bennett directing him to keep his fiag dis- 
creetly in his pocket until the correct moment came 
for its unfurling. 

He organized his caravan and plunged into the 
interior, and lol his rival appeared one day in his 
tent. The World man had been refused p^missioit 
to traverse German territory, but he watched Vizet> 
elly's start and pluckily enouf^ followed his rival. 
He had no trading goods and was lucky to receive 
the hospitality of VizeteUy, who made the American 



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S84 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

a guest at his mess. Nevertheless Stevens meant to 
beat the man upon whom he was dependent for the 
means of access to Stanley. He let Vizetdly feed 
him and his men, but no acknowledgment of the cour- 
tesy would he make in his paper. The E^Ushman 
felt justified therefore in arranging with the (rerman 
authorities to have any messages Stevens might send 
back stopped at the coast. Bennett meantime had 
telegraphed Vizetelly a promise of £8000 for himself 
if he sucxseeded in his enterprise. 

Stanley was duly met. Vizetelly marched in order 
into the camp of the explorer. Mounted upon an ass 
from Muscat and side by side with a Giennan lieutenant 
riding an African ox, he rode forward with dignity 
to the meeting, while Stevens left the cdlunm (rf his 
protector and ran ahead to be "first." The flag 
was duly presented and soon was flying over the 
explorer's tent. That evening the correspondent sent 
to the Herald the first message which reached the out- 
side world with definite tidings of Emin's rescuer. 

Next morning the traveler handed the special a 
long letter for the Herald, which Vizetelly at once 
sent off by special runner. Tlius it reached Bagamoyo, 
thence it went by German steam launch across to 
Zanzibar, and from there it was cabled textually to 
London. A note in the New York paper of Decem- 
ber 6, 1889, sUted that the 140O words cost $3500 
when they finally arrived in New York. Stevois 
was beaten. 

On returning to Zanzibar Vizetelly found this 
tel^Crun awaiting him: 

"My congratulations. In accordance with my 
promise, £2000 to your account with Rothschild 
today. — Bwmett." 



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THE FIVE VIZETELLYS «8S 

With this exploit to his credit Vizetelly returned 
to Europe and lived several years in Paris and in 
London. While engaged upon some articles for T. 
P.'a Weekly, and collecting information for than 
about London's aubmei^ed tenth, he died in lOOS. 
Wa long life in the tropics had somewhat enfeebled 
his constitution. 

One fact may be added to this record of a moat 
remarkable family group. Another son of Henry 
Bicfaard Vizetelly, Frank Horace Vizetelly, the lexicog- 
rapher and writer of New York City, not having suc- 
ceeded in his effort to go to South Africa as a war 
correspondent, did achieve the distinction of visiting 
the Boer prisoners of war at the detention camps in 
Bermuda. He was the only civilian whom the British 
authorities permitted to inspect the camps and narrated 
his observations in the lUuttraUd London Netot, the 
New York Independent, and various dailies. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



CHAPTER IX 
EDWARD FREDERICK KNIGHT 

"... a mkn Lord Methnen Mud he wm proud tab»TewitIihuannr." 
—JiiUoH AiqA. 
" I met falm »t Key West dtiring the ^Miiili War. and fonnd him to be 
k wlid, weU-bkUHted nuui, who bww what be was about, amd not at aO 
one to have gone ticanuo-aeekiDg without excellent leaaoni. And it waa 
e«a7 to perceive that he muit have been the ri^t kind of a mail to lead a 
liiniiiiiihiiiiling expedition." 

— RatjA D. Paiiu. 

In the midst of the war betweeo Rusaia and Japan, 
when the foreign specials were writhing under the 
restrictions of the censorship and were desperately 
trying to beg, or buy, or even to fight their way to 
the front, where real fighting was going on which they 
were not permitted to see with their own eyes, the 
authorities from time to time prepared entertainments 
for their diversion, aa a means of conciliating these 
troublesome vi8it<»«. One erf these impromptu &a.- 
tertwnments took the form of a juggling party. As 
it was about to end, Edward F. Knight, with the quiet 
and rather quaint manner which often distinguished 
him, declared' that he also could juggle, and pro- 
ceeded to make his claim good by adding a feature to 
the original programme. 

"Here is a despatch as it is sent out by a corres- 
pondoit," he satd, and for a monient there was seen 
a strip (rf paper about eighteen inches long. 

"Here again is the same despatch after it has gone 
through the hands of the censor," and suddenly the 
paper shrank to a bare half -inch. 

"But here is the despatch as it appiears in print," 



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EDWAItB FREDERICK KNIGHT 287 

and lot while the speaker looked about triumphaatly, 
there appeared, as if out (rf the air, three columns from 
a newspaper and all filled with special cabl^rams from 
the war. 

And then the amateur performer added the 8I7 
remark: 

"Of course, it was an American paper!" 

Yet this man had come to the war in the East with 
a terrible handicap. He had but one arm, having 
been wounded so severely at Belmont in the Boer 
war that the right arm had to be amputated. 

Few mea are more adventurous in an unassuming 
way than Edward F. Knight has been. Hb military 
experiences began in 1870, when he went out with a 
French force in the war with Prussia. Years lat^, 
while as a special he was making the campaign in 
Madagascar, he referred almost tenderly to his old 
comrades of the Foreign Legion, and to the "French 
Tommy Atkins, the same pleasant, cheery, honest . 
fellow I had known of old." In nearly every land I 
over which flies the British flag Knight upon one mission I 
or another has traveled. In 1878 he was ploddiag on 1 
foot about Albania and Montenegro with three artist * 
companions, making a summer tour in an almost 
unknown country. Nearly twenty years later he was 
back among the Balkans in the war between Turkey 
and Greece, and in 1908 he spent several months in 
Salonica and Constantinople studying the revolution 
<rf the Young Turks. For ^the Morning Pqrf he made 
the Opkir tour of the woridwitK ffieDiie and Duchess 
of Cornwall and York. In the spring of 1891, he left 
for the desohite moimtain region of Kashmir, where 
he took part in the expedition against the Hunzar 
Nagars, sending to The Timet and some Ixmdon 



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288 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

weeklies descriptive letters upon the campaign of s 
handful of men against a foe of far greater numbers 
in an almost inaccessible position. He has served 
as a correspondent also in Matabeleland, the Soudan 
and Cuba. 

As a small boat sailor he has few superiors, as his 
delightful yams upon his cruising experiences in the 
Falcon and the Alaie indicate. Moreover he has been 
the leader of a treasure hunting expedition, and few 
such quests have been better fitted out or captained 
with more intelligence and skill. 

On a day in January in 1895 Knight was sojourning 
in Cornwall when a tel^ram was delivered to him 
from the editor of The Timet. France wasdetennined 
upon the conquest of Madagascar, and the special for 
the great London paper was to proceed withtfut 
delay to Antananarivo, the capital of the island, a 
thousand miles long, oS the eastern coast of South 
Africa. The uncertainty, the excitement and the 
romance d the life of the special for a powerful new»- 
pap^, who has the whole world as his field of oper- 
ations, are well illustrated by the experiences of this 
correspondent during the period .of ahnost a year which 
he spent in that comparatively unknown r^on. 

First of all he had great difficulty in reaching the 
scene of the campaign, and, in the sequel, while he 
faced dangers in plenty, he saw scarcely any of the 
little fighting that actually took place. It had been 
intended that he should travel with the French invaders, 
but evea Paris correspondents were made unwd- 
come, and he was reused the necessary permission. 
Thereupon it was decided that he should hurry to 
Antananarivo, the capital city, and join there the 
English officer. Colonel Sbervington, who was acting 



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EDWARD FREDERICK KNICHT 



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EDWARD FREDERICK KNIGHT 289 



as the milituy adviser of the Hovas. In '. 
it was thought that the French under General Duchesne 
would have a hard time reaching the capital through 
a difficult country in the face of a brave and patriotic 
people. The French were making charges that the 
British steamship traders were not obeying the neu- 
trality laws, whereupon the steamship companies 
announced they would book no passengers for the ordi- 
nary ports of Madagascar. But Knight was aboard a 
vessel whose captain was an adventurous fellow, 
and, with the Rev. J. Pearse of the London Missionary 
Society, who had lived thirty years in the country, 
he was landed at a little Hova settlement at the southern 
end of the island. He was hundreds of miles from 
the capital and to leach it he would have to travel 
for many days through a wilderness large portions 
of which were unexplored and which no Europeans 
had previously penetrated. 

Carriers vere the first requisite. There were 
few settlem^its and they were far apart; supplies 
would be hard to get; quite likely the people would 
be found ill disposed at times and even hostile; and 
there wctc the chances of fever, starvation, even of 
murder to be faced. The correspondrait was burning 
with impatience to be off lest he miss the opening of 
the campaign at Majunga, nine hundred miles away, 
where the French would begin their march. Luck 
came to his aid, and the special and the English mis- 
sionary started with twenty-two trained palanquin 
bearers. "These men have marvellous agility and 
endurance," wrote Knight. "It is usual to take eight 
men; whDe foxir carry the palanquin the other four 
trot on in front ready to take their places. They 
relieve each otjier at frequent intervals, and there 



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290 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

is no check in the pace when this is done, the men 
one by one slipping nimbly aside while their fellows 
running alongside in their turn place their shoulders 
under the long poles. In this way they can easily 
carry a man thirty miles a day and more if conditions 
are favorable." 

At times they traveled at the very edge of the 
break^^ on the surf-hardened sand. Often they 
plunged by narrow foot-paths into the forest where 
the d^ise T^etation shut out the breeze and the light. 
For miles they made their way across malarious swamps. 
Fifteen deep rivers whose waters were full of crocodiles 
had to be passed in dug-outs. At one stream no dug- 
out was to be found and three men braved the croc- 
odiles, swimming to the opposite bank and returning 
with a boat. One beautiful lake they stumbled upon, 
unmarked upon any map, which probably no white 
man had ever seen before. This part of the journey 
required eight days. 

Their way now lay through a perilous district of 
robber villages and blackmailing kings. The leader 
of the party was successful in defying the attempts 
of the natives to levy exorbitant tolls. Halted upon 
the bank of a deep river a half-mile wide the travelers 
were told there would be no ferry unless they paid a 
heavy sum. If they submitted Uie tale would go cm 
ahead of them and a score of kings would make like 
demands. Argument was useless; Knight drew his 
revolver, and one by one inserted six cartridges while 
the king looked on and the missionary translated 
the bearers* exaggerated account of the deadliness 
of the weapon. When the special ordered his men 
to seize the canoe and threatened to shoot the king 
if he interfered, that worthy sulkily yielded. By 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



EDWABD FREDERICK KNIGHT S91 

relays the men vere fraried across, and the kiilg was 
made to go on the last trip, as payment was refused 
until all were safe. 

At one ford the water was above the shoulders 
of the men and for some paces above the heads of 
most of them, but they stretched their arms high and 
carried baggage and travelers across without wetting 
them, shouting in diorus, whenever their mouths 
were above water, to scare away the crocodiles. 

The bearers came down with fever unfortunately 
and their places had to be filled with such men as 
oould be hired, an unruly set as they turned out to 
be, Mr. Peaiae declaring that in all his missonary 
travels he had never had to deal with such a lot of 
ruffians. Tliey left the coast and struck across the 
great forest bdt (or the central highlands, fighting 
the indiffOTWice of the bearers all the way, and once 
quelling what might have been a serious mutiny. 
" Of all the journeys I have ever Diade," said Kni^t, 
"I think this one was the most disagreeable, not on 
account of its natural difficulties, but because of the 
altogether unnecessary delays owing to the bad dis- 
position of the men." 

For five days the route lay throu^ an unexplored 
r^on which apparently no European had before 
visited. Here the bearers were at the mercy of their 
^nployers and became more amenable, mitlciTig marches 
of extraordinary length, with Fearse and Knight 
tramping it much of the time. On the longest day's 
march they started at dawn and clambered up and 
down mountain sAeseipa hour after hour amid splendid 
scenery and beautiful waterfalls, by dint of hard 
scrambling reaching the head of the pass at sunset, 
where th^ found a highland village. There was no 



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iWt FAMOUS WAR C0RRESPO^fDENTS 

welcome for than. They w^e suspected c^ being 
Froich. and the villagers howled outside their tents 
for houis. "At any moment I expected to see an 
assegai come flying through the thin bamboo waD," 
wrote the correspondent. 

In the great forest they plodded on for miles 
without finding any openings, seeing the sim's light 
onj^ when th^ went up the avenues formed by the 
beds of mountain torrents. "Hie missionary was 
troubled by fever and dedded to stop at a hiendly 
village, flight pushed cm for the capital, which was 
still almost three hundred miles away. He secured 
a fre^ lot of willing and cheerful carriers and got 
ahead at the rate of thirty-three miles a day, although 
he was halted for two days by an attack of malarial 
fever which threatened at one time to become serious. 

At last, on the thirty-second day from the start, a 
march whidi began before daybreak and ended after 
dark brought the indefatigable special to the rugged 
ridge on the side and summit of which Antananarivo 
is built. Knight found it to be a very irr^ular city 
of more than a hundred thousand people. A heavy 
disappointment awaited him; Colonel Shervington 
had resigned. 

A persistent story had charged the En^ish officer 
with selling the capital to the Freaich. He had advised 
the government to fortify certain strong places <m 
the route which the invaders would take; how could 
he have foretold the plwis of the French unless he 
was in their counsels? Against such reasoning, and 
with an influential set of the Hovas intriguing against 
him. Colonel Shervington had no chance. 

There was little likelihood of getting permission 
to go out with the Hova frarces. Knight was informed 



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EDWARD FREDERICK KNIGHT 283 

by the British vice-consul. The feeling in tlie capital 
was strong against Europeans of all nationalities. 
Above all other white men newspaper reporters were 
under suspicion. No Hova could understand the 
nature of Knight's business and most of them believed 
him to be a French spy. Burleigh was also in the 
city — how he got there has been related elsewhere — 
and the two were closely watched; their doings and 
their sayings were reported; if they undertook a stroll 
into the country spies were at their heels. Access 
to information was denied by the government. Had 
Km*ght tried to reach the front, he would have been 
sdzed and imprisoned. The Hovas were well ac- 
quainted with the art of boycotting. Strenuous efiforts 
were made to suppress all news from the war; a severe 
censorship was actually instituted and all letters 
were read with care by the clerks of the Foreign Office. 
In the letter of a married woman to a sister in England 
the Hovas fancied they found an important cipher. 
At the bottom of the sheet there appeared some 
strange characters and a row of crosses. In due 
time the Foreign Office learned that these symbols 
were kisses for a certain British baby. Then, too, the 
Frendi at the port of Tamatave were stopping most 
letters and all newspapers from home, so Uiat !&iight 
was pretty completely isolated from the world. 

Nevertheless he did manage to send news to his 
pap^. He was there as a correspondent in a situation 
almost unparalleled in the history of war reporting, 
and he did not propose to be beaten. Here is his 
own accoimt of the way in which he smuggled tele- 
ffCBXDB and letters out of the island: 

"I found natives willing for a smaD confflderation to 
risk their lives by carrying letters fram me to tJie nearest 



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«94 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

seaport; there they delivered the letters to my agent, who 
in turn handed them over to someone on the first Castle 
steamer that called, to be posted in Natal or Mauritius. I 
had to use every precaution in despatching my carriers; 
it would have meant their destruction had the object of 
their visit to the coast been suspected. I never employed 
the same man twice; each was paid his wages on delivering 
my letter to my agent, and not one failed in getting throu^ 
despite the various dangers they had to encounter; for, in 
order to leave the dty, they had to obtain passports ^m 
the government under some pretext or other; all the roads 
were guarded by soldiers on the lookout for deserters from 
the army and smugglers of gold-dust or letters; and every 
traveler was carefully searched at Moramanga, the second 
stage from the capital — the most formidable peril of all. 
In order to circumvent these searchers I used, as a rule, to 
take a copy of n^ letter in flimsy, roll the copy up into as 
small a space as possible, and jam it into the bottom of the 
carrier's snuff-box, a bit of bamboo about six indies long; 
a false bottom would then be driven into place on top of 
the letter, and the bamboo, fiUed with snuff, would then 
present an innocent ^pearance that disarmed all suspidon. 
On one occasion, having no trustworthy messenger, I had 
to write the words of the highly-compromising telegram 
in invisible ink on the back of a private letter, to be developed 
by a friend on the coast." 

But somehow or other newspaper clippings (ouiid 
their way back to the remote capital of Madagascar 
and the Hovas learned that the correspondent was 
eluding; their watchers and sending news out of the 
island. His sources of information and his method 
of beating their vigilance were a mystery and a wonder 
to them. For all the six months that he remained 
in Antananarivo he was hampered, but not defeated, 
by the cunning ingenuity of the natives, who hated 
him cordially, but feared openly to molest him. He 
was relying to a considerable extent upon the native 



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EDWARD FREDERICK KNIGHT 295 

awe of the European. But as he continued to send 
information out of the island about the corruption 
of the govenunent and the discreditable intrijpies 
of the leaders of the people, and especially when the 
approach of the column of the invaders had excited 
a really dangerous feeling against the foreigners in 
the capital, and when his most compromising letters 
had returned to the Hova government to accuse him, 
he found his position becoming very difficult, and he 
breathed much more freely when the French were in 
sight from the city. 

Neither himself nor Burleigh had been entirely 
without communication with that advancing force 
of French soldiers, for they had found a courageous 
native of the carrier class who ventured again and 
again into the vicinity of the invading column on the 
scout for news. His ostensible profession was that 
of a peddler of salt, snuff, soap and sugar in the camps 
of the Hovas; bis stock in trade was supplied by the 
correspondents. Furnished with a passport in full 
and proper form he woiUd m^e his way to the lines 
of the defense, go about from troop to troop for several 
days, finally visiting the outposts and getting at least 
a glimpse of the French. By a similar plan Knight 
kept himself posted upon the news of the palace and 
the cabinet meetings. 

In the city there were about forty British subjects, 
missionaries, traders, miners, a wanderer or two, 
and the newspaper men. It became unsafe for an 
Englishman to visit the markets. A meeting to go 
over the situation was heJd in the vice-consulate, 
when the representative of the British government 
advised all Europeans to leave for the coast. The 
missionaries were all for staying in the city and in 



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296 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the end all did remain. The vice-consulate, a sub- 
stantial brick house, was chosen for a rallying place 
in case the Hova mob actually broke loose and attacked 
the foreigners. So circumspect was it necessary for 
Knight to be th^t when a great camp of 10,000 
men was established on the plain below the city he 
barely caught a j^impse of the review from a distance 
through a telescope. 

There was now but one thing for him to do. He 
could not get to the front; he must simply wait for 
the front to come to him. Excitement mounted hi^ 
as the French neared the dty. He saw hundreds 
of barrels of powder being carried up to the palace 
and heard the rumor that the queen intended to blow 
up the building as the French entered her capital. 
And then, quite suddenly, he heard the booming of 
distant cannon, and thus learned that at last the 
invaders were in touch with the city. "I was exceed- 
ingly fortunate," he wrote, "to find a man this day 
willing to travel for me to port. So I entrusted him 
with a letter and telegram to The Times. I knew that 
would be my last opportunity before the arrival of 
the French." 

At this juncture the Hovas did make something of 
a stand. For four days there was mild fighting outside 
the dty, but as soon as the natives were exposed to 
the fire of the Freaich guns they ran away. Through 
tills period the Europeans kept out of the chief streets 
and stood ready to barricade their houses at a minute's 
notice. At the end the life of the queen was in danger 
and Knight had his part in framing a plan to rescue 
her. He says: " I was myself in the plot to save her 
from any attempt to kill her — I had arranged to 
assist her to fly. But the watch was too djose, and 



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EDWARD FREDERICK KNIGHT 297 

she had to stay in her palace and be bombarded." 
Every hour the sound of musketry voUeys and 
artillery fire became louder, but in the capital it was 
impossible to learn what was really taking place — 
a aore predicament indeed for a war reporter. Hien 
on September 30, 1895. at ooon, Kiiight had his first 
glimpse of the invaders, "a long dark line of infantry 
and baggage mules streaming along a ridge on the 
skyline three miles away." Never was a town bom- 
barded after a more humane fashion. After about 
four hours a Hova on horseback with a few attendants 
was seen ascending the hill in front of the English 
watchers, bearing a white flag. The que^i had sur- 
rendered. 

The next glimpse of The Times special disdoses 
him on camel back in the Nubian desert, " as utterly 
desolate a place as any r^on in the world." He had 
started in the midst of a sandstorm, when objects a 
hundred yai-ds away could not be seen, and in a stifling 
atmosphere with the thermometer at one hundred and 
seventeen degrees in the shade. He had marched all 
night, halted at dawn for an hour, then fared on again 
along a road which could not be missed because of the 
bleached bones of the camels, to the number of many 
thousands, with which the route was strewn. There 
was not an insect to be seen, and not a vulture floated 
ovediead. After making one hundred and twenty miles 
in sixty-five hours there was sifted a sandy basin 
surrounded by rugged hills of black rock, upon whose 
tops were perched three forts, with camels, sheep and 
goats below them. These were the Wells of Murat, the 
most southerly post held by the Egyptians and the 
nearest point to Khartoum which had been visited by 
Englishmen in many years. 



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SOS FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

It was but four months aince the correspondent 
had reached London after his year in Madagascar. 
He had left on his t«i days' journey for Assuan, 
seven hundred and thirty miles up the Nile, within a 
few hours of the information reaching the newspaper 
office that an expedition to Dongola had been deter- 
mined upon by the government. From Assuan to 
Korosko the march was made up the river bank with 
the daily temperature one hundred and twelve decrees 
in the shade. At Korosko the Sirdar gave permission 
for Knight to make the camel ride to Murat Wells and 
thence across the desert to Wady Haifa. The wells were 
but "braddsh little pools," but they were on the frontier, 
half-way between the Egyptian and Dervish posts, 
and therefore of great strategic importance. At the 
centre also of a great arc made by the Nile, with many 
tracks radiating from them, these wells were fought 
over many times. The correspondent carried letters 
to the fdieik in command of the Arab irregulars sta- 
tioned there. 

Frcnn the wells the start for Wady Haifa was 
made on the afternoon of the eighth of May, 1896. 
With flight was another correspondent and five irregu- 
lars, "eadi clad in a pictmesque white robe, ^rt with 
a cartridge belt, and with a Martini-Henry rifle slung 
on the saddle of the wiry little camel which he rode." 
From seven to eleven the party halted, then they rode 
until ax in the morning, when they rested again for 
five hours. Resuming the march they rode all day 
through an enchanted land, a succession of mirages, 
"trfierein they could not be certain that anything 
was real save the sand immediately beneath them. 
On the hraizon extended ranges of pleasant hills from 
which rivers flowed in broad belts of rippling blue. 



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EDWARD FREDERICK KNIGHT S8S 

They saw lakes of breaking waves, on whose shores 
were pahns and long grasses, and a wild coast with 
deep rock-enclosed fiords and far-jutting promontories." 

Moreover they were riding through the desert on the 
hottest day Knight had ever known. It was one hundred 
and twenty degrees in the shade, " if there had been any 
shade," said the special, and even the Bedouin felt the 
oppressicm. The sun glared, the sand scorched, and the 
air was destitute of all movement. They made a long 
halt at sunset, and then sent ahead the slower ba^age 
camels with three of the guides, while the two cor- 
respondents and the two remaining guides started 
at two in the morning to overtake the advance party. 
But they had made a mistake in separating themselves 
from their baggage in that desert; they trotted until 
dawn without overtaking the others. When day 
CEune they could find no tracks of the camds of thdr 
friends, but they went on, constantly scanning the 
horizon which already was b^pnning to quivex with 
the mirage. 

Vfiib. grave anxiety they reasoned over the situ- 
ation. The others were surely not in front, so they 
themselves must be behind or lost. An isolated 
pyramid of rock appeared to the north, about two 
hundred feet hi^, with an almost perpendicular 
<diff to the west which would afford shelter from the 
sun until midday. They would make this a rendezvous 
while th^ looked for their tniMi'ng companions. 
When they started for it the rock seemed but a few 
hundred yards distant. After a ride of a half-hour 
it seemed to dwindle in size and to recede until it was 
a good five miles away. For a time again it loomed 
large and near. "But," says Kni^t, *'we put no 
faith in its appearance and would not cvea assume 



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SOO FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

that it had any real existence at all — for the desert 
waa now full of ghoats — until we came at last into 
absolute contact with its black crags, and were resting 
uncter its friendly shade." 

A human skull lay on the sand, and crouching 
against the rock was the skeleton of a man who clearly 
had died of the agony of thirst. Long and carefully 
they searched for their comrades. A keen-sighted 
guide at last discerned some black objects which 
"seemed to be tossing cm the waves of a distant lake." 
llie guide declared them to be men on camels, and 
they proved to be the missing half of the party, who 
had lost their way and were seriously alarmed. And 
now eleven hours of hard riding brought them to 
Wady Haifa, making one hundred and twenty-eight 
miles from Murat Wells in sixty-four hours, and with 
baggage animals at that. 

That summer on the Nubian desert was the most 
trying season that had been endured within the memory 
of man. The ride to the wells was but one of several 
adventures which make the outstanding incid^its 
in the story of Knight's life in that campaign. The 
date and nature of the impraiding operations wne 
guarded with utmost secrecy. The spies of the 
KhaJifa were known to be in the camp of the Sirdar 
disguised as camel drivers and servants. The corre- 
spondents were taken on a crowded train to Akaaheh 
and there advised to be ready to start with the troops 
at a minute's notice. On June 0, they were told that 
the field force would march that night for Ferkeh and 
that the dervish position was to be attacked at dawn. 
It was the intention of the Sirdar to surprise the enemy, 
capture the leaders, and cripple the d^enoe of Dongola. 

The march that night was as remarkable as the 



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EDWARD FREDERICK KNIGHT 301 

march in the north yeara before, when the naval 
lieutenant had guided the troops by the stars, but 
this was a very dark night, and the desert column 
was guided over the trackless sands by a cavalry 
captain. It was a march of sixteen miles. One 
coltmm went by the river, but the Sirdar was with 
the desert force. So silent was the advance that a 
straggler twenty paces away would surely be lost. 
lliere was no moon and only occasionally were tha% 
glimpses of the river; no bugles were blown and no 
smoking was permitted. After marching twelve miles 
the troops went into bivouac. Knight dismounted 
about midnight and lay on the sand with his horse 
standing at his side. After two in the morning the 
march was resumed; at half past foiu- the first gleam 
ot dawn appeared, and the troops were deployed into 
fighting formation; and at five the force was seen by 
a party ot camel men and the first shot was fired. 

At seven the battle was over, a short but terribly 
sharp action. I^iight watched the dervishes "stand 
undismayed in the open, and fight with dogged deter- 
mination in the face of the deadly volley fire." Each 
man wounded was a dangerous and treacherous foe 
until he breathed his last. The special rode close 
to one wounded dervish and looked down upon his 
upturned face, not a muscle of which quivered. He 
had been badly hit, and the correspondent had no 
idea there was life in him, but scarcely had he ridden 
three yards beyond, when there was the report of a 
rifle just behind him, and a bullet whistled past his 
head. In the battle the Khalifa lost practically all 
his commanders on that side of Dongola. To their 
valor Knight paid this tribute: "I doubt whether 
any oth^ men in the world would have stood, as 



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802 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

these men stood, for nearly two hours against auch 
fearful odds." 

With the advancing forces of the Sirdar had come 
the td^raph wire. A great part of the way it was 
simply stretched on the sand without insulation, the 
sand "in that dry country being an absolute non- 
conductor of electricity." There had never been an 
attempt before with a Morse instrument to send a 
story over such a length of wire laid on the bare ground. 
As the army had but a single strand of wire, its use 
was limited to a certain number of words per day. 
No correspondent was permitted to send more than 
two hundred words in a single despatch. After his 
colleagues had seat their respective quotas he mi^t 
send another two hundred, and so on in alternation. 
Thus the news of the victory was sent piecemeal to 
Londcm. 

In the Spanish-American war Ralph D. Faine 
watched Knight land on the Cuban coast near Havana 
for the purpose of interviewing the Captain-General. 
In his "adv^iturous but unassuming way," equipped 
with a note-book, a revolver, a water-bottle and a pack- 
age ai sandwiches, the correspond^it, again repre- 
senting The Times, stepped into a flat-bottomed skiff 
from a newspaper despatch boat, and placidly said 
good-bye, ignoring entirely the probability that he 
would be taken for an Americano by the first Spanish 
patrol he met and shot without parley. A^in in 
the war between Greece and Turkey, Knight proved 
his quality. An artillery dud was in progress; the 
Greek gunners were doing well, but their nervoumess 
was marked; whereupon Knight and another cor- 
respondent felt themselves not to be justified in taking 
shelter in the fort, but considered it to be thdr duty 



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EDWARD FREDERICK KNIGHT SOS 

to write the long telegrams they wore sending while 
making their observations in the open and under fire. 
The example was appreciated; the o£5cers warmly 
thanked the newspaper men, and when there was a 
lull in the firing a great number of Greeks came together 
and lustily cheered the reporters. Under circumstances 
distinctly creditable to his courage. Knight lost hia 
arm. He was with the force of Lord Methuen for 
the Morning Post. At the first engagement near 
Belmont the correspondent and two soldiers were 
deceived by a white handkerchief which a Boer fastened 
to the end of his rifle. Knight sprang te his feet and 
was instantly hit by a bullet. The wound was so 
sevne that he was taken at once to Cape Town, but 
the arm could not be saved. 



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CHAPTER X 
GEORGE WABRINGTON STEEVENS 

" He InitiBted not only a new conoepUoa of ]ounialiim, but a new style 
of Engliah writing, never seen either before or mnce," 

— OteoT Brmming. 
" He was & model conejpondent, the best I have evei known, and Iihculd 
like to aay bow greAtly gneved 1 am at hii death." 

—LoriExbiimur. 
"lliroii^ war and peatileDce, red siege and fire. 
Silent and self-contained he drew his tHvath; 
Brave, not tor show of courue — his desire 
Trath, a* be «aw it, even to the death." 

—Rud^iard KijiUtig. 

The death at Ladysmith on January 15, 1900, of 
the gifted special of the London Daily Mail was mourned 
by the entire English-speaking world. He was carried 
off by enteric fever, which, suggests W. E. Henley, 
"being translated is filth and tow living," and his 
memorialist adds, quite justly, that in him there was 
lost "as fine a spirit, as rare and completely trained 
a brain, and as brave a heart" as the English people 
had to show. Steevens was an almost unique com- 
bination of scholar and journalist, competent to review 
such a work as Balfour's "Foundations of Belief," 
and in his "Monologues of the Dead" to bring the 
characters of the ancient world into intimate and living 
contact with the men of the nineteenth century, and 
also to present in a series of graphic paragraphs the 
incidents of a battle and the life of a camp so vividly, - 
that breakfast table readers in distant cities, however 
slow of wit and dull of imagination, were stirred by 
his impressionistic sketches. This pictorial quality 
was the outstanding feature of his work as a ^>eda] 



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GEORGE WARRINGTON STEEVENS 805 

correspondent. All details were quickly sifted through 
bis mind; the right ones were retained and built into 
paragraphs that clutched and held the reader. The' 
visual effect seemed always to be his aim. 

Bom in a London suburb, Steevens became a prize 
boy, a prize student, an exhibitioner, the youngest 
of the dons, and the winner of so many scholarships 
and medals that he was called "the Balliol prodigy." 
He might have devoted his life to the minutiae of 
classical scholarship. Instead he took a place on the 
staff of the PaU Mall GaseUe and came out into the 
world. William Waldorf Astor had bought the paper 
and placed it in the hands of an editor who knew nothing 
oi "the street" but who was daring and resourceful 
in high d^ree. Brilliant young men flocked to his 
staff. Steevens, with the applause of his fellows of 
the schools still ringing in his ears, now had to take 
both execration and praise, "now writing flippant 
paragraphs and now handhng matters which might 
embroil two kingdoms." 

In 189S the Gazdle changed editors and Steevens, 
upon the invitation of Alfred Harmsworth, went to 
the Daih/ Mail. There now remained to him little 
more than four years of active newspaper life. He 
was sent to report the trial of Alfred Dreyfus, and 
with remarkable keenness he investigated the rumor 
oi an Irish famine. The paper then sent him to 
the war between Turkey and Greece, to the Nile 
with Kitchener, to India with Lord Curzon, and to 
South Africa, where he died. 

When he began his first war trail Steevens says he 
bound himself with a vow to state nothing on any 
authority unless he had seen it himself or had heard 
it from a European who had seen it, and he declares 



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806 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

that, although the resolution cost him some excellent 
stories, on the whole he did not regret it. He had 
come to Salonica as a war correspondent only to find 
there neither a war nor the possibiUty of sending out 
news. He must find a way to get to headquarters 
at Elassona, and that was the one thing impossible 
to be done. The Turk had no confidence in the " casual 
European" and no liking for press men. While he 
waited for the war, Steevens listed the things he would 
need at the front. Here is the inventory of the outfit: 
"One dragoman, one cavaaa, two saddle-horses, two 
pack-horses, saddle and bridle English style, saddle and 
bridle Turkish style, two pack-saddles, brushes and curry- 
comb, halters, hobbles, nose-bags, rope, two kit-bags, a 
chair, a table, a fez, a waterproof sheet, towels, knives, 
forks, spoons, a few yards of waterproof canvas, a bed, a 
pillow, a quilt, a cartridge-belt, water-bottle, bucket, quinine, 
faypermanganate of potassium, frying-pan, teapot, japamied 
dishes, japamied plates, japamied cups and mugs, two 
lanterns, a cheap watch, a thousand cigarettes, champagne, 
whiskey, port, sauteme, punsch likor, native hams, native 
tongues, tea, sugar, cocoa, timied beef, tinned salmon, 
tinned herrings, sardines, salt, biscuits, Worcester sauce, 
cheeses, Eno's fruit salt, corned beef, laundry soap, tinned 
peas, tinned beans, tinned oysters, tinned jam, tinned sau- 
sages, timied egg-powder, tinned gingei^beer powder, tinned 
butter, and 180 pounds of oats." 

But as he went towards Elassona his baggage grew 
less every hour. He had acquired the dragoman, 
"Charley," and had spent three days buying four 
horses, after the approved fashion of baigaining there 
in vogue. After an all-night ride he reached Elassona, 
where he found himself in the midst of 50,000 soldiers. 
Bugles were ringing from the hills; men were washing 
ragged linen in the streams. He slept in a bag on 
the bare floor of a bare little room; on each side of 



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GEORGE WAHRINGTON STEEVENS 807 

Mm snored a fellow war correspondeat. He was 
under military law; technically, he was a first-class 
camp follower. Under his hand he kept his saddle- 
bags packed with provisions for two days, but he was 
unhappy only because there as yet was no war. 

He stayed on at Elassona, watching the "patient, 
weary, steadfast soldiers" standing to their guns in 
sheets of rain, patrolling the mountain tops in shrieking 
winds, and humped on their pack-saddles as they 
brought up cartridge-boxes and ammunition bags. 
After a week serious news arrived; the Greeks were 
said to have attacked in force. There had been hard 
fighting throu^ an entire night. With "Charley," 
Steevens started for Karya. As they struggled on 
there came a new experience. '"Pop, pop; pop, pop, 
pop; pop, pop, pop, pop, pop; pop.'" His "heart 
began to try to ke^ time with the pops." He "turned 
a comer and came on the village — small and nun- 
shackle and dirty — wedged into a recess under hills 
like cataracts suddenly turned to stone, and above 
these the solemn whiteness of Olympus." Olympus 
was "the background of Karya; its foreground was 
the fight." He "sees a little shiver of excitement nm 
round a group of aides-de-camp, and hastens to ask 
about it." It was great news; war was declared. 

Exultant over the good news which had come at 
last, Steevens jumped on his pony, turned the tired 
pack-horse, not yet unladen of his baggage, and 
started full scramble back to headquarters, leaving 
the fight to crackle on as it would. TTie following day 
was Easter Sunday and he was off to join the Marshal 
and his staff. He was very happy; he had not come 
out in vain. He was "going to see the biggest fight 



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808 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

since Plevna," so he marched on only to draw up bdow 
a row of small, steep, barren hills. 

On the crests the Greeks held the line of block- 
houses. To attack these the Turkish infantry crawled 
up the slopes. Until seven in the evening the fighting 
continued. When he could not see he heard the bugles 
sounding the advance; the Turks were charging with 
fixed bayonets. The Greeks stood their ground until 
the assailants were about thirty yards away, and gave 
back. In the morning the Turks foimd the Greeks 
gone. The battle of Meluna had been won and 
the Turks had gained the gate of lliessaly.v Steevens 
rode over the battle-ground and noted how spread 
out were the forces, each man building himself a little 
heap of stones behind which he took shelter and 
fired when the spirit moved him. It was the tradi- 
tional hill fighting of the Balkans. 

After a week the invasion of Thessaly b^an. 
"Down, down they wound along the zigzags of Meluna 
— horse and foot and guns in a stream that looked 
as if it would last forever and choke up the whole 
plain." There followed the deciding action of the 
first stage of the war, the battle of Mati, which won the 
town of Larissa. Steevens started the instant he 
heard of the occupation of the place to ride straight 
across country for it, " intending to swim the rivers, 
but at all costs to get into Larissa with all speed." 
There was no water in the first river. In their panic 
the Greeks had not even broken the bridge over the 
second. Over a road two inches deep in white dust 
he made his way into the town, where he set up house- 
keeping, purposing to make it his base for the balance 
of the campaign. Of what he saw when he entered 
Larissa he wrote a vivid account: 



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GEORGE WARRINGTON STEEVENS 309 

"Never could there be seen more hopeless, headless, 
handless contusion. Saddles and harness were strewn 
in heaps; regimental papers flew before the winds in clouds. 
There was a kn^sack, here a cap, there an artillery am- 
munition wagon hanging over the ditch, with the wheels 
broken and the traces cut; there — shame! — a little pile 
of cartridges. A soldier may throw away much, and there 
is still hope for him ; once he begins to throw away cartridges, 
there is none. And there by the roadside were a couple 
of dead Gredcs, their swollen faces black with flies; they 
had been killed by their comrades in the stampede. . . . 

"As the dominant impression of the town was the sweet 
smell of laburnums in the public places, of roses and sweet 
peas in tbe gardens, so the impression of the occupation 
of the town was fragrant and kindly. The entiy of the 
Turkish troops into Larissa was the sweetest and most 
lovable thing I had seen during this week of war. That 
the Turkish army entering a town taken from the enemy 
should be a pleasant sight, should be almost a kind of Sun- 
day-school treat, will be surprising information to many 
Englishmen. But I have eyes in my head, and I saw it." 

The next start was for Velestino, and in the first 
stage of the fighting there the Turks were beaten. 
One correspondent, with the censorship in his mind, 
called it a "concentration in rear." IVlule most 
remember the fight for Mahmud's charge, Steevens 
declared he would remember it as "the battle of 
thirst." "Men, hors^, asses, the heavens above and 
the earth beneath, all were parched and caked and 
burned and split with the raging thirst. Not a breath 
of air camb over the hills where the Greek smoke hung 
heavily." As the sun climbed up "the hard blue sky" 
it became at midday more than even the Turks could 
bear, "the sturdiest bearer of things unbearable in 
the whole world." llie horses seemed dazed and 
stupid in the pitiless glare, the troopers lay down 
"each behind his horse in the little patches of shadow 



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310 FAMOUS WAR CORBESPONDENTS 

and went to sleep with their mouths open.'* As 
he rode along the line the special "met ^es ci wild, 
wondering distress, mixed with the beginnings of 
despair." 

At fall oi dusk most of the correspondents w^e off 
for Larissa with their despatches, a ride of thirty-five 
miles out and thirty-five back. Even a Salonica pony 
could hardly do it after such a day. Steevens 
with his messmates decided to make another night 
of it on the ground. Their sentinels brought them 
the news that Mushir Pasha was marching for Pharsala, 
where they witnessed a battle which "was a race 
between night and victory, and night won." But 
it was "one very fine bit of fighting," and Steevens 
found it worth coming from England to see. 

One of the most amusing experiences recorded 
in all the annals of war correspondence now fell to the 
lot of Steevens and his companions. On May 7, they 
rode to Velestino. At four the next morning a blue- 
jacket waving the British flag opposite the railway 
station, and in the very middle of the Turkish army, 
attracted their attention. A deputation of British and 
French consuls had come to tell them that the town 
of Volo was evacuated and at their mercy and to beg 
them not to harm the peaceable inhabitants. Appar- 
ently some British journalists were to save the Greeks 
whom the Greek army had left to their fate. The little 
company galloped for Volo, Steevens, two En^sh 
and one American special, a Turkish officer, a stray 
cavalry trooper picked up on the way, and two Al- 
banian cavasses. The Sultan's young aide-de-camp 
took no single step without consulting Steevens and 
his comrades. The people (^ Volo seemed to the 
handful of invaders to be greatly frightened, but 



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GEORGE WARRINGTON STEEVENS 311 

as they advanced to the centre of the town and mur- 
dered no one the populace grew more assured and 
h<^>eful. To the town hall they dattered and strode 
to the council chamber. There was a little delay in 
finding some one willing to act for the mayor and sign 
the surrender of the place. Then a proclamation was 
read from the balcony to a thousand standing in the 
street. Thdr cowed faces brightened; they were 
to be spared. A Greek in the balcony called for 
three cheers for the Sultan, and th^ were given 
with a will. 

It was not predsely a capitulation, because the 
town was not occupied in the military sense, but the 
aide-de-camp took the advice of the specials very se- 
riously, and Steevens demurely recorded his opinion 
that it was *'a rather fine thing" for two correspond- 
ents of the Daily Mail to n^otiate the surrender. 

The most furious fight of the entire war ensued at 
Domoko. To the right and left of the little hill on 
which the specials posted themselves were ten batteries 
hanmiering away at the Greek guna. Over their hill 
the Greek shells whizzed and sometimes dropped 
among the horses on each side. Mainly they fired 
at the men from Adrianople who were moving for- 
ward; they were "peppered" but they still went on; 
they came within a thousand yards of the entrench- 
ments and there burst "from the Greek lines a hellish 
storm." There were "savage volleys snarhng along 
the trenches in front and right and left" but they 
still went on. Their "poor little individual puffs 
showed pitifully by the side of the smashing, crashing 
hail of the Greeks." But they went on and on, and 
at five hundred yards, emerging out of a com field, 
they halted, but they clung to their position. Night 



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812 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

fell, and still they clung there. A quarter of their 
four thousand men were killed and wounded. All 
night long the wounded came groaning and Umping 
past the specials* campfire on the hill, but during the 
night the Greeks sUpped away over the Furka Pass to 



In the early morning Steevens rode forward and 
" began to ascend the woodland serpentine of the pass." 
He was able to watch the fighting, how "the crimson 
bunting and white fezzes crawled on with caution, 
yet with swiftness," how there would be "here a swift 
glide forward and there a shot or two under cover." 
And then "from somewhere about Lamia" there ap- 
peared a white flag. They must cease firing and go 
no further down the pass. The news of the armistice 
had reached them. "And that was the end of the 
Turco-Grecian war," says Steevens. 

In less than a year the Daily MaiVa correspondent 
was on the Nile. He found Wady Haifa looking "for 
all the world like Chicago in a turi^an," and Kitchener 
making war "not with bayonets, but with rivets and 
spindle-glands." His reports of the campaigns of 
Atbara and Omdurman are a series of brilliant 



For example: 

"Haifa clangs from morning till night with rails lassoed 
and drawn up a sloping pair of their fellows by many con* 
victs onto trucks; it thuds with sleepers and bul^-beef 
dumped on to the shore. As you oome home from dinner 
you stumble over strange rails, and sudden engine-lamps 
flash in your face, and warning whistles scream in your 
ears. As you He at night you hear the plug-plug of the 
goods engine, nearer and nearer until it sounds aa if it must 
be walking in at your tent door. From the shops at Haifa 
the untamed Soudan is being tamed at last. It is the new 



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GEORGE WARRINGTON STEEVENS 313 

system, the modem system — mind aad medianics beating 
muscle and shovel-heiid spear." 

When the time was ripe the troops marched up 
the Nile to Fort Atbara and then they began to seek 
the dervishes. At last came one of the famous night 
marches which figure so saliently in the story of war- 
fare in the Soudan, zind a battle next morning. "Hard 
gravel underfoot, full moon overhead, about them 
the coy horizon that seemed immeasurable yet revealed 
nothing, the square tramped steadily for an hour." 
After a rest they marched again from one to four. As 
the sue rose the word came, and they sprang up, 
the squares shifted into the fighting formations. 
"At one impulse, in one superb sweep, near twelve 
thousand men moved forward" toward the enemy. 

A nimbus of dust rolled from the zareba of the enemy 
and a half-dozen flags fluttered before its right centre. 
Steevens looked at his watch and it marked 6.S0. 
Ths battle that had now menaced and now evaded 
them for a month had b^un. The bugles sang and 
the pipes screamed and the line started forward "like 
a ruler drawn over the tussock-broken sand." As 
the line crested the ridge the men knelt down and 
fired. The bugles and the pipes sounded again and 
the men were up and on. "The line of khaki and 
purple tartan never bent or swerved." It moved 
down the gravelly incline always without hurry amid 
furious gusts of bullets. They stood before the loose 
low hedge of dry camel thorn and tugged at it until 
they made a gap, when they found a low stockade 
and trenches beyond. 

The inside suddenly sprang to life. "Out of the 
earth came dusty, black, half naked shapes, runniog, 
running, and turning to shoot, but running away." 



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814 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

Inude *'waa the most astounding labyrinth ever seen 
out of a nightmare." The place was as "full <A holes 
as any honeycomb only far less regular." lliere 
was a shelter pit lor every animal; donkeys were 
tethered down in holes, just big enough for themselves 
and their masters, a trench was full of camels and 
dead or dying men. lliere was no plan or system. 
"From holes below and hillocks above, from invisible 
trenches to right and left, the bewildered bullets 
curved and twisted and dodged." On swept "the 
whirlwind of Highlanders, bullet and bayonet and 
butt." They penetrated to the river and "across 
the trickle of water a quarter mile of dry sand bed 
was a fly-paper with scrambling spots of black." 
"Cease firingi" was sounded, and sudden silence 
came down. The battle had lasted forty minutes. 

A few months later Steevens was looking at Om- 
durman. Tie place was visible at last to an advandng 
English army; the battle that should aveiige Gordon 
was to be fought and the last and greatest day of 
Mahdism was at hand. "We saw a broad plain, half 
sand, half pale grass," says the special. "On the rim 
by the Nile rose a pale yellow dome, clear above every- 
thing. That was the Mahdi's tomb. ... It was the 
centre of a purple stain on the yellow sand, going out 
for miles and miles on every side — the mud houses 
of Omdurman." 

Light stole quietly into the sky on the mcHiiing 
of the battle. Everyone was very silent and very 
curious. "A trooper rose out of the stillness from 
behind the shoulder of Gebel Surgham, grew larger 
and plainer, spurred violently up to the line and 
inside. A couple more were silhouetted against our 
frcmt. Then tiie electric whisper came racing down 



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GEORGE WARRINGTON STEEVENS 815 

the line; they were coming. . . . The noise of some- 
thing began to creep in upon us; it cleared and divided 
into the tap of drums and the far away surf of raucous 
war cries." A shiver of expectancy thrilled the army. 
A sigh of content followed. "They were coming on. 
Allah help them! They were coming on." 

The enemy came very fast and straight but presently 
they were stopped. The British were standing in 
double ranks behind their zareba. The blacks were 
lying in their shelter trench, and for a time "both 
poured out death as fast as they could load and pull 
trigger.'* 

Then section by section the firing was hushed, and 
for a while there was nothing "but the unbending, 
grimly expectant line before Agaiga and the still carpet 
of white in front." After a half-hour the bugles 
soimded. The one disaster of the battle ensued. The 
Twenty-first Lancers, eager to be first in Omdurman, 
swung into their charge. 

"Koee to knee they swept on tiU they were but two 
hundred yards from ihe enemy. Then suddenly — then 
in a flash they saw the trap. Between them and the three 
hundred there yawned suddenly s deep ravine; out of the 
ravine there sprang instantly a cloud of blade heads, and 
a brandished lightning of swords, and a thunder of savage 
voices. ... It had succeeded. Three thousand if there 
was one to four hundred. But it was too late to check now. 
Must go through with it now! . . . One hundred yards — 
fifty — knee to knee. . . . Horses plunged, blundered, 
recovered, teH; dervishes on the ground lay for the hamstring- 
ing cut; ofiScers pistolled them in passing over as one drops 
a stone into a bucket; troopers thrust until lances broke, 
then cut; everybody went on straight through eveiything. 
. . . Cleaii out on the other side they came — those that 
kept up or got up in iime. The others were on the ground -^ 
in pieces by now, for the cruel swords shore throu^ shoulder 



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816 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

and thi^, and carved the dead into fillets. Twenty-four 
of these, and of those that came out, over fifty had felt sword 
or bullet or spear. Few horaes stayed behind among the 
swords, but nearly one hundred and thirty were wounded." 

This to Steevens was hearsay. Tlie rest of the 
battle he witnessed. He saw MacDonald's spleodid 
courage aod strategy, commended so by Bennet 
Burleigh, when he "turned his front through a com- 
plete half-circte, facing successively south, west and 
north," his brain "working as if packed in ice," and 
"every tactician in the army delirious in his praise." 
Still the honor of the fight was awarded by the corre- 
spondent to the men who died. He found the dervishes 
"beyond perfection" while the Sirdar's army was 
"perfection." The enemy "died worthily of the huge 
empire that Mahdism won imd kept so long." The 
spearmen charged hopelessly over and over again. 
"Tlieir riflemen, mangled by every kind of death and 
torment that men can devise, clung round the black 
flag and the green, emptying their poor, rotten, home- 
made cartridges dauntlessly." 

"Now under the black flag in a ring of bodies stood only 
three men, facing the three thousand of the Third Brigade. 
They folded their arms about the staff and gazed steadily 
forward. Two fell. The last dervish stood up and filled 
his chest; he shouted the name of his God uid hurled his 
Bpear. Then he stood quite still, wuting. It took him 
full; he quivered, gave at the knees, and toppled with his 
head on his arms and his face towards the legions of his 
conquerors." 

That night in Omdurman, Steevens found the Sirdar 
flat on his back, dictating by the light of a solitary 
candle his despatch to the chief of the intelligence 
department. Colonel Wingate, who was stretched 
flat on his belly. The correspondent himself "scraped 



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GEORGE WARRINGTON STEEVENS 317 

a scrawl on a tel^rapH form, and fell asleep on the 
gravel with a half-eaten biscuit" in his mouth. 

On the morning of October 10, the following year, 
Steevens awoke to find his ship lying beside the wharf 
at Cape Town. He headed instantly for the north and 
the war. At Elandslaagte he was seen walking about 
close to the firing line leading his grey horse, a con- 
spicuous mark for a sharpshooter. There were aa 
always clever descriptive touches in the letter which 
he forwarded his paper. "For half an hour the hillside 
was ... a maze of men wandering they knew not 
whither, crossing and recrossing, circling, stopping 
and returning, slipping on smooth rock-faces, breaking 
shins on rough boulders, treading with hobnailed boots 
on wounded fingers." Thus, until the word came 
that the hurt men were to be brought down to the 
Boer camp between the hills. And thus of the treaV 
ment of the wounded after they were carried down in 
the d^kness: 

"In the rain-blurred li^t of the lantern — could it 
not cease, that piercing drizzle tonight of all nights at least? — 
the doctor, the one doctor, toiled buoyantly on. Cutting 
up their clothes with smsors, feeling with light firm fingers 
over torn chest or ihigh, cunningly slipping round the band- 
age, tenderly covering up the crimson ruin of strong men — 
hour by hour, man by man, he toiled on." 

Soon Steevens was shut up in Ladysmith. He 
endured his full share of the privations and perib of 
the siege and rendered more than his share of service 
in keeping up the hearts of his fellows. "Tack-tap, 
tack-tap, as if the devil was hammering nails into 
the hills" the bombardment went on. When the 
firing was strongest he would toil up a ladder of boulders 
and bend and steal forward to the sky-line to make 



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818 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

his observations. The rains came in level down- 
pour and transformed Ladysmith into a lake ci mud. 
They were lying in the bottom of a saucer and staring 
up at the pitiless ring of hills that barked death. 
Hdp would com^ that was sure, but would it be in 
time? And how soon dared they expect it? They 
could only hazard opinions. By means of native 
runners the correspondents tried to get messages out 
<^ the beleaguered town, but the risks of sending 
through the lines of the Boers were so desperate that 
the prices paid were "appalling." For his first runner 
Steevens piud £70. 

Through the weaiy weeks of waiting Steevens smiled 
and jested. The Ladymniih Lyre was founded for 
the express purpose of promoting laughter, and for 
three months its publication was hailed as an event 
of the first magnitude in that little world which was 
sq^regated absolutely from the big world beyond. 
Nothing could daunt the courage or curb the wit of 
the Daily Mail special and all within the lines laughed 
at bis sallies aad were the better for their laughter. 
There are other services than those connected most 
directly with the profession of war correspondence 
which the specials of the newspapers may rendor 
and (^ten have rendered. Meantime the winking 
heliograph and the flashing searchlight brought mes- 
sages in cipher to headquarters from the outside. A 
few days b^ore Christmas the press men were .sum- 
moned to hear an abridged version of one of these 
messages. Th^ were to adumbrate the ill tidmgs 
which somehow bad been whispered about the town. 
Buller had sent word that he must wait for siege guns, 
which meant another thirty days at least for pent-up 
Ladysmith. But it was March 1 when the actual 



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GEORGE WARRINGTON STEEVENS 319 

entry was made, and the town had been cut off from 
the outer world, save for the Kaffir runners, for one 
hundred and nineteen days. 

Weeka before the relief reached the town Steevens 
was stricken with the scourge of Ladysmith, enteric 
fever. He fought for his life and was declared ahnost 
convalescent, when suddenly there was a relapse. 
A fellow corresp>ondent was obliged to tell him the 
truth, the farewell messages were dictated, and in 
three hours he was dead. At midnight, "with the 
Bulwaan searchlight shining on them like a Cycl(^*s 
eye," the little company of correspcmdenta carried 
their comrade to the cemetery outside the town, and 
at the grave, the searchlight having left them, a depu- 
tation from headquarters, a group of officers, and the 
press men stood in darkness and rain for the burial 
service. 

Thus passed a war correspondent whose press work 
was not (mly history but literature. Shy, quiet, ur- 
ban^ magnanimous, kindly humorous, proud as well 
as modest, a wit and a cynic at times but not given 
to censure, irithout any girding up of his mind [wuring 
out droll ideas, striking similitudes and quaint expres- 
sions, this man's life was one of the most expensive 
counts in the computation (d tbe costs <tf the South 
African War. 



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i 



CHAPTER XI 
WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL 

"Wb ia a iHCtnreiqae career. Ottmy man of hiafewyesnspeakiiigoar 
lanpjsge, probably it U today the most pictureaque. And that be a half 
an American give* all of lu an excuse to pretend we share in hia succeaaet." 
—RuAard Harding DobU (1905). 

"Eoglisbman, twenty-five y«an old, about five feet dgbt inches hi^, 
indifferent build, walk* a little with a bend forward, pale appearance, re<d- 
browniah hair, BmsU moustache hardly perceptible, ttuka through his tioae, 
cannot pronounce the letter S properlv, and does not know any Dutdi." 

— from th« Tratmaal Oovammeni Potter afttr At «teap«fron Prtloria. 

"The field'tel^raph stopped at the bridge-head and a 
small tent with a half-doxen militaiy operators mariced 
the breaking of a slender thread that connected us across 
thousands of miles of sea and land with London. Hence- 
forward a line of signal stations with their flickering helioa 
would be the only links. We were at the end of the wire. 

"I have stood at the other end and watched the t^>e 
machine click off the news as it arrives; the movements ot 
the troops; the prospects of action; the fighting; the casual- 
ties. How different are the scenes. The club on an autumn 
evening — its members grouped anxiously around, ^9- 
cussing, wondering, asserting; the noise of traffic outside; 
the cigarette smoke and electric lights within. And. only 
an hour away along the wire, the field with the bright sun- 
li^t shining on the swirling muddy waters; the black for- 
bidding rocks; the white tents of the brigade a mile up the 
valley; a long streak of vivid green rice crop by the river; 
and in the foreground the brown-clad armed men. 

"I can never doubt which is the right end to be at. 
It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an 
actor rather than a critic." 

Thus years ago the present First Lord of the Ad- 
miralty recorded his conviction in that model piece 
of war reporting, "The Story of the Malakand Field 



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WINSTON SPENCER CHUBCHILL 321 

Force." He himself had b^nui to make the newa 
two or three years before, and ever since he has been 
diligently engaged in the exciting occupations which 
managing editors cannot afford to n^ect. In those 
early years of storm and stress people said he was a 
yoimg man in a hurry who would come a cropper right 
soon; that he was a tornado, an arrogant egoist, an 
audacious but undeniably brilliant son of a brilliant 
father. 

Winston Churchill is indeed the son of Randolph 
Churchill. He has done a lot of the things his fath« 
did and done them in the fashion which his father 
affected. His mannerisms were most of them strongly 
reminiscent of his father when he came before the 
public with the very evident intention of making his 
way to the frtmt of the stage without serving any pro- 
longed apprenticeship in the wings or the background. 
His grandmother used to refer with pride to the fact 
that his father had been paid £2250 for his articles 
in ihe' Daily Graphic on South African affairs. How 
it would have delighted the lady to know that the son 
of her favorite son had been sent to t he Boer war by 
Lord Glenesk as the best mim available for^e service 
<^ the Morning Post, and paid what Lord Glenesk 
considered the best man to be worth. 

Bora in 1874, Winston Churchill is^half American, 
for his mother was Jennie Jerome of New York City. 
Educated for the army and seeing little chance of 
having a hand in a real war for England, he ran away 
to Cuba when he was barely twenty-one and fought 
for the Spaniards, lliereupon he became fm inter- 
national question which the House of Commons 
had to consider, and, his nune thus early before the 
world, the ila% Qra^fhic found it worth while to pay 



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Sift FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

him handsome fees for articles on the Cuban revduticm, 
and when he came home he brought with him the 
Spanish government's Order of Military Merit. In 
another year he left for the Indian frontier and while 
attached to the Malakand Field Force he sent the 
Daily TeUffrapk a series of brilliant letters and won 
another medal and a mention in despatches. Joining 
the staff of Sir William Lockhart, he went throu^ 
the Tirah campaign and added a clasp to his decoration. 

In 1897, a prophet known as the Mad Fakir arose 
upon the Indian frontier, whose appeab to the fanat- 
icism <rf the tribes met with remarkable responses. 
On July 39, all India rang with the news that the Mala- 
kand had been attacked, and the tension throughout 
the land became fever high when it was understood 
that one or two little garrisons away in the mountains 
were in danger of annihilation. 

In his analysis of conditions at the theatre of the 
war Mr. Churchill relates how in those wild but wealthy 
valleys "a code of honour not less punctilious than 
that of Old Spain is supported by vendettas as implac- 
able as those of Corsica," and how the fighting m^i 
*'to the ferocity of the Zulu added the craft of the 
redskin and the marksmanship of the Boer." England 
held the Malakand Pass to keep open the road to Chit- 
ral. The younger officers of the Malakand garrison 
were playing polo at Khar when some neighboring 
tribesmen brought them warning that a wave td 
fanaticism was sweeping down the valley and they 
hurried back to make their position as seeing aa possible. 
The commander sent a telegram to Mardan ordering 
the Guides to reenforce the garrison, the order arriving 
at 8.S0 in the evening, and just five hours later they 
b^an their famous march. For six days and nights 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL 323 

the garrison was under incessant rifle fire, and each 
night cost them several lives. 

Terrible as was the situation, the garrison was 
assured that relief was on the way. The tremendous 
exertions of the relieving coliunns is indicated by the 
fact that in one company of Sikhs twenty-one men 
actually died on the road from heat apoplexy. Past 
midnight on the night of the twenty-ninth the great 
attack was made and with its repulse passed the chance 
of capturing the Malakand. The tribesmen there- 
upon concentrated their assault upon Chakdara, and 
for days the post was encircled by the smoke of thou- 
sands of muskets. The Malakand Field Force was sent 
to hold the Malakand and "to operate against the 
neighboring tribes as might be required." The com- 
mand was put into the hands of General Sir Bindon 
Blood, and with him Winston Churchill "had the 
honor to serve in the field." 

Hie young adventurer says: "Having realized 
that if a British cavalry o£Bcer waits till he is ordered 
on active service he is likely to wait a considerable 
time, I obtained six weeks leave of absence from my 
regiment, and on September 2, arrived at Malakand 
as press correspondent of the Pioneer and Daily Tele- 
graph, and in the hope of sooner or later being attached 
to the force in a military capacity." 

The march at September 6 b^an with the stwa 
still shining overhead. They passed a frail bridge 
hung upon wire ropes and with gates at each end 
supported by little mud towers. Here the field tele- 
graph ended and of the contrast between the two ends 
of the wire the correspondent wrote__thg__YigQrDua_ 
paragraphs which- -hava. .been ctuoted above. The 
horses had to be led in single file over this bridge, and 



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324 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

at that the swinging of the atructure made it hard to 
walk. The passage of the transport und^ such cir- 
cumstances consumed an entire day. With Major 
Deane, Churchill visited the chiefs of a tyiHcal Afghan 
valley, with sevra separate castles as stron^olds of 
seven separate khans. He made the hard dimb to 
the top of the pass, and stood far above '* a valley upon 
which perhaps no white man had looked since Alex- 
' ander crossed the mountains on his way to India." 
Of the cunp at midnight he painted an engaging picture: 
"The fires have sunk to red, glowing specks. Tbe 
bayonets glisten in a regular line of blue-white points. The 
silence of weariness is broken by the incessant and uneasy 
shuffling of the animals and the occasional neighing of the 
horses. All the valley is plunged in gloom and the moun- 
tains rise high and black around. Far up their sides, the 
twinkling watch-fires of the tribesmen can be seen. Over- 
head is the starry sky, bathed in the pale radiance of the 
motm. It is a spectacle that may inspire the philosopher 
not less than the artist. All the camp is full of subdued 
noises. Here is no place for reflection, for quiet or solemn 
thouj^t. The day may have heea an exciting one. The 
morrow m^ bring an action. Some may be killed, but in 
war time Ufe is only lived in the present. It is sufficient 
to be tried and to have time to rest, and the camp, if all 
the various items that compose it can be siud to have a 
personality, shrugs its shoulders and, regarding the past 
without regret, contemplates the future without alann." 

The climax came in the action of September 16. 
"Sniping" had been going on all the time, especiaUy 
at night, and occasionally the sharpshooters picked 
off a man, but the final affair, appealing strongly to 
the imagination of such a man as Winston Churchill, 
and especially at his age, would not be called a battle - 
by any who think of great masses of troops and the 
thunder of batteries. Just a hillside on which a few 



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WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL 



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WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL 385 

men in brown might be made out by a careful watch^ 
moving slowly among the rocks, and looking like the 
tiny figures of a child's play-house in that great sweep 
of mountain and valley. The columns marched out 
ot camp at dawn, three in all, in order to clear the whole 
mountain trough at once; Churchill was with the centre 
column. He watched the little men scurrying about 
on the heights and the tiny curls of smoke. Darkness 
came down swiftly and with it a heavy storm, the 
lightning flashes providing the enemy with countless 
chances to aim their shots, llie troops worked their 
way back to camp, and, dinnerless and shelterless, 
lay down in the slush, fagged out but confident of the 
outcome. There had been barely a thousand men 
engaged, but the total casueilties were one hundred 
and forty-nine, a greater percentage than in most 
actions in India. In the following days the force com- 
pleted the conquest of the valley and the tribesmen 
were ready to sue for peace. 

Meantime the correspondent had been sending 
his messages back by friendly tribesmen to the tele- 
graph office at Pan jkora. The way lay through twenty 
miles of the enemy's country, but the despatches never 
miscarried and several times they were on the wire 
before the official despatches or any heliographed 
messages had come through. 

His work done, he made his way back to the comforts 
of civilization and of peace. At each stage of the 
return journey some ot the "indispensable things" 
of modem society appeared. At Panjkora he was in 
touch with the great world again by means of the 
electric current, at Saria there were fresh potatoes, 
at Chakdara there was ice, at Malakand he had again 
a comfortable bed, and at Howshera there was the 



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846 FAMOUS WAR COBRESPONDENTS 

railway. One of the most picturesque of the little 
wars of the century was finished, and it had brought 
to the yoting newspaper man praise from Sir Bindon 
Blood for his "courage and resolution" in making 
himseJf "useful at a critical moment." 

Wa bo(^ written, and it being clear that Kitchener 
was about to advance upon Khartoum, Winston Chur- 
chill hurried to the War Office, as several hundred 
other officers had done, to ask for employment. Per- 
severance secured it for him and he was attached for 
the campaign to the Twenty-first Lancers and ordered 
without delay to proceed to the Nile. At Cairo he 
found his squadron leaving the next day. All the 
way up the river he was doing his stint of work with 
his troop fmd sending his letters to his paper, the 
Morning Po^ One adventure in the desert threatened 
to end seriously. Every correspondent who sees 
service in Egypt expects to be lost in the desert once 
at least, and Churchill had to take his turn of wander- 
ing at night among the sandhills, with scouting parties 
of the enemy at no great distance. 

It was no easy matter to save the cavalry horses 
and keep them in condition for the fighting that was 
ahead. Extreme precautions were taken to maintain 
the war order asid to make the march easy for the 
crippled animals. Of one motley troop Churchill 
was made commander. 

So he fared on to the great battle of Omdurman. 
The Lancers that day made their first charge in war* 
land Churchill, who rode with the rest, has written a 
ithrilling story of that episode of the great struggle 
Which cleared the Soudan of the rule of fanaticism. 
How luck followed this young mui! He had his 
share in the charge which, with the exploit of 



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WINSTON SPENCEK CHURCHILL 387 

MacDonald, was the event of the battle that ended 
Mahdism. Tliere were just two minutes of slashing, 
spear throwing, hamstringing, rifle firing with muzzles 
against the bodies of the foe, and sabre cutting. And 
he came through as one of the few officers whose 
saddlery, clothes and horse were quite untouched. 
He wrote: "The whole scene flickered exactly like a 
cinematograph picture, and besides I remembor no 
sound. The event seemed to pass in absolute silence. 
. . . Perhaps it is possible for the whole of a man's 
faculties to be concentrated in the eye, bridle-hand 
and trigger-finger, and withdrawn from all other parts 
of the body." 

Home again, he wrote "The River War," telling 
the story of the Nile' campaigns from the death 
Gordon to the final winning of the Soudan. Again 
his book made a sensation, for it was the work of a 
subaltern who had been in the desert but a few months 
and it read like the work of a veteran of many wars 
and a student of military history. It is the standard 
work upon its subject, and it got abundant attention 
also because of the free and easy way in which its 
writer criticized all the military gods from Kitchenra: 
down. Plunging into politics and failing to gain a 
seat in the House, he resigned from his regiment, and 
on October 26, 1899, left for the South African war 
again as correspondent for the Morning Post. Later 
he held a commission in the South African Light Horse 
and served as an aide to two or three generals. 

The affair of the armored train occurred within a 
few days of his arrival. The train was composed <A 
three flat cars, two armored cars, and between them 
the engine; thus there were three cars coupled to the 
cow-catcher and two to the tender. After the train 



ng\ 
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S«8 FAMOUS WAE CORRESPONDENTS 

had passed, the Boers rolled a big boulder on the track 
just where it rounded a curve. On the return trip 
the engineer took the curve at high speed and hit 
the rock, with the result that the three forward cars 
were thrown off the track and one was landed crosswise 
so that the engine and rear cars could not escape. 

The Boers were firing upon them from three sides 
and they had some field guns in action so that any 
direct shell would pierce the armored cars like paper. 
Churchill dropped to the ground and ran forward, 
returning to report his conviction that the track could 
be cleared. It was agreed that Captain Haldane should 
ke^ the enemy engaged whUe Churchill tried to clear 
away the wreckage. By hard work and ingenuity 
he got the cars out of the way. Then it was found 
that the engine was six inches wider than the tender 
and that the corner of its foot-plate would not pass 
the comer of the truck which had just been shoved 
from the track. Pushing made the jam worse and 
the men worked at the freight car with their bare 
hands while the Boer fire was renewed at a distance 
of thirteen hundred yards. Said the correspondent: 

"I have had in the last four years many atrsnge tad 
thrilling experiences. But nothing was so thrilling as this: 
to wait and struggle unong these clanging, rending iron 
boxes, with the repeated explosions of the shells and the 
artiUeiy, the noise of the projectiles striking the cars, the 
hiss as th^ passed in the air, the grunting and puffing of 
the engine — poor, tortured thing, hammered by at least 
a dozen shells, any one of which by penetrating the boiler 
might have made an end of all — the expectation of de- 
struction as a matter of course, the realization of pover- 
leasness and the alternations of hope and despair — all this 
for seventy minutes by the clock with only four inches of 
twisted iron work to make the difference between danger. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL 329 

c^>tivity and ahame on the one hand — safety, freedom 
and triumph on the other." 

At last the engine did break past the obstruction. 
But the couplinga had parted and they dared not risk 
imprisoning the engine again by backing it to the rear 
trucks, lliey could not drag the trucks to the engine, 
however, and it was decided to try to save the engine 
al(Hie. The cab, tender and cow-catcher were piled 
with their wounded. "Die woodwork of the firebox 
was in flames and water was spouting from the pierced 
tanks. As the engine moved away the soldiers strag- 
gled alongside at the double. But one private, with- 
out authority, raised his handkerchief, when the Boers 
ceased firing at once and a dozen horsemen came 
galloping from the hills. 

Churchill stayed on the engine in safety for a third 
of a mile, when he saw an officer trying to hold 
his stampeding men, and, imder the shelter of some 
houses, he dropped from the engine, and ran back to 
help. He soon found himself in a narrow cutting and 
alone, for the soldiers had surrendered. As two m^i 
appeared at the end of what was a sort of corridor 
he began to run. Two bullets passed within a foot 
of his head; he zi^agged, and two more came as near. 
He scrambled up the side of the cutting and a bullet 
hit his hand. Outside he crouched in a Uttle d^res- 
sion, but a horseman was galloping towards him, and 
he had neither rifle nor pistol. He says: "Death 
stood before me, grim and sullen. Death without his 
light-hearted companion, Chance." There was nothing 
else for it. He surrendered. 

His certificate as a correspondent bore his name. 
It was a name not liked in the Transvaal. One Boer 
asked: "You are the son of Lord Randolph Churchill?** 



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330 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

He did not deny the fact, and immediately lie wu 
encircled by a crowd of staring Boers. 

He was taken to Pretoria and imprisoned in the 
States Model Schools Building, which was surrounded 
by ircm railings, and there were guards quartered in 
tents on the playground. There were long, dull df^s, 
lightened by the reading <^ Carlyle and Mill's "Essay 
on Liberty." liberty he was bound to have, and he 
began to make his plans on the day of his arrival. 
After ten days the American consul came to see him. 
His frioids did not know whether he was alive, 
wounded or dead. Mr. Bourite Cockran, an old frioid 
of his Ammcan mother's, cabled from New York to 
the ccmsul, and in this roundabout way his situation 
was disclosed to his relatives and comrades. 

He found it advisable to lose his campaign hat, 
which could not be mistaken for the headgear of any 
but an English officer. The burgher who bought 
him another very innocaitly but very fortunately 
returned with a Boer sombrero. Then he kept watch 
and devised schemes. 'Hie grounds were brilliantly 
lighted with electric lights, t>ut there was a litt^ 
period of a few minutes when the sentries as they paced 
their beats would have a small section of the wall in 
darkness, owing to some cross-shadows. Beyond 
was a private house with its grounds, and farther 
on the open street. 

Just how he was to dodge patrols and find his way 
through three hundred miles of unknown and hostile 
territory he did not know. But the effort he was 
bound to make. He says: 

"Tuead^. December 121 Anything was better than 
further suspense. Agun night came. Again the dinner 
bell sounded. Choosnig my opportunity. I strolled ocroa 



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WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL 881 

the quadrangle and secreted myself in one of tlie offices. 
Through a chink I watched the sentries. For half an hour 
they remained stolid and obstructive. Then suddenly one 
turned and walked up to his comrade and they began to 
talk. Their backs were turned. I darted out of my hiding 
place, seized the top with my hands and drew myself up. 
Twice I let myself down again in sickly hesitation, and then 
with a third resolve scrambled up. The top was flat 
Lying on it, I had one parting glimpse of the sentries, still 
talking, still with their backs turned, but fifteen yards 
aw^. Then I lowered myself silently down into the ad- 
joining garden and crouched among the shrubs. I was free. 
The first step had been taken and was irrevocable." 

He was in the garden of a house in which a party 
was going on, and while he waited in the shadows guests 
came out and stood and chatted within a few yards 
of him. After a time he passed the open windows 
of the house, walked by within five yards of a sentry, 
and was at large in Pretoria. In his pocket he had 
four slabs of chocolate and seventy-five pounds in 
money. Overhead was Orion, which had guided him 
a year before on the Nile. He was going to give the 
Boers a nm for th^ money whatever might happen. 

The fugitive followed the railway track, making 
detours to avoid the watches at the bridges, and 
finally boarded a train in motion. "I hurled myself 
on the trucks," he says, "clutched at something, 
missed, clutched again, missed again, grasped some 
sort of hand-hold, was swimg off my teet, my toes 
bumping on the line, and with a struggle seated myself 
on the couplings of the fifth truck from the front of 
tiie train." He did not know what was the destina- 
tim of the train, but the great thing was that it was 
going away from Pretoria. The trucks were fuD of 
sacks of goods and he crawled up and burrowed among 



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8S« FAMOUS WAB CORRESPONDENTS 

them. Before he left the cai at dawn he aaw the Ime 
was ntimmg straight toward the sunrise where lay the 
neutral territory of Portugal. That day he ate a slab 
of chocolate, drank from a pool, and stayed hidden 
among the hUls. 

Tlie following ni{^t he walked, creeping along close 
to the ground, and wading bogs, drenched to the waist. 
The fifth day he was beyond Mtddleburg. From the 
Kaffirs he managed to beg a bit of food. 

Meantime the whole world was talking about the 
audacious escape of the irrepressible young English- 
man. The Boers were furious. The one man who 
should have been held at ^1 odds was the man who 
got away from them. They tel^p'aphed throu^out 
the region the unflattering description which has 
been placed at the head of this chapter; they began 
to search every car <rf every train; three thousand 
photographs were distributed; they searched the houses 
of all supposed British sympathizers. Especially at 
the frontier of Portuguese territory was vigilant watch 
kept. Rtmiors of many sorts were flying about the 
country. Churchill was disguised as a woman; he 
was wearing the uniform of a Transvaal policeman; 
he was in Pretoria disguised as a waiter. The dangers 
of inflammatory hterature were pointed out — had 
he not been reading "Mill on Liberty" the day before 
his escape? In England he at once became a popular 
hero; he had pluck and he had wit and he had con- 
founded the Boers, and forthwith every Englishman 
cheered him. Then as day followed day without 
tidings of him,^ England became anxious. Was he lost? 
k Had starvation caught him? 

He was indeed in straits. Entirdy spent, the 
little strength which prison life had left him ^chausted, 



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WmSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL S88 

he bad to crawl to a aback in a little village and stam- 
m^ out a speecb tbougbt out in advance to the first 
white man he bad dared to approach for weeks. The 
man stared, and then be glared, and finally be grabbed 
the fugitive, pulled him inside the door, and said: 
"I am the only Englishman in miles and you fire 
Winston Churchill." How did CbuTcbill know? He 
didn't know; luck was with him. He seemed to move 
under the same star that so many times befrioided 
Forbes, vahant but ever favored by chance. 

His new friend smuggled him into a freight car, 
where, buried in sacks, of merchandise, he stayed for 
more than two days. At the border the car was twice 
searched, but only the upper sacks were lifted, and 
after many hours of waiting the empty roar of the 
bridge told the young correspondent that he was 
entering Portuguese territory at last. He only left 
the car when he reached Lourenco Marques. Then 
he hurried to the British consul, and that night, taking 
no chances, he was escorted to a steamship about to 
leave by a dozen Englishmen with drawn revolvers. 

Two days later he was landed at Durban, where 
a rousing welcome was his. It was the second > day 
before Christmas, but after only an hour of enthusiasm 
and turmoil which he says he "enjoyed extremely," 
he was off for the front, with a months* newspapers 
at his side to catch up with the news of the world. 
Back at Frere, he found his tent pitched by the side of 
the very cutting down which he had fled from the Boer 
marksmen. 

For the rest, he stayed with Buller as an officer and 
a correspondent until the relief of Ladysmith, and 
then he was with one of the columns of Lord Roberts 
until Pretoria was taken. He watched the search- 



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834 FAMOUS WAB CORRESPONDENTS 

light flashing the Morse code on the clouds, and saw 
its aerial battle with the Boer searchlight, which 
crossed its flashes with blinks and flickers and mixed 
up the dots and dashes. As the Monte Cristo ridge 
was captured he wired his paper that at last success 
was within reach. He was one of the first party that 
galloped into the relieved town, and how the tattered 
and weary men ran and cheered and cried when they 
heard his reply to the sentry's challenge — " The 
Ladysmith Relief Column." 

There was one lull after the relief of Ladysmith 
when Churchill went back to Capetown, and then an 
adventure befell him when he was out with a scouting 
party. That day again he ran for his life from Boer 
marksmen, and a trooper saved him by mounting him 
behind himself. Said the adventurer: "I had thrown 
double sixes again." At a time when near Johannes- 
burg an important action was fought, which the corre- 
spondents were not able to wire away because the 
enemy lay between the force and the tel^^aph, he 
conceived the idea of taking the most direct way to 
headquarters, which was the way through Johannes- 
burg. He went on a bicycle with a Frenchman as 
comrade and got safely through. In the darkness 
they walked and scrambled and cycled, keeping to the 
side streets in the town which the army had not yet 
occupied. They overtook the principal special (rf 
The Timea, Lionel James, who chivalrously refused 
to hear the tidings Churchill brought; let his rival 
keep his news and score as he deserved to do. Tliey 
were carrying also official reports for the Commander- 
in-Chief, and straight to Lord Roberts they made 
their way. Churchill put his news on the wire and 
was provided with his first comfortable bed for a month. 



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WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHIIX 835 

A few months later he took his seat in the House 
d Commons, and by a happy coinddence he entered 
upon his Parliamentary career at the same age as had 
his father. Wa first speech was made in May, 1901; 
after some years he w^it over to the liberal Party; 
soon he was Under-Secretary for the Colonies ; and now 
he is in the Cabinet, sharing the tremendous responsi- 
bility of the direction of the forces of Great Britain 
in what seems likely to become the greatest war the 
world has ever known. But whatever he is and what- 
ever he may become, it is certain that this man of 
versatility and industry, with his passion for being in 
the midst of things, will never enjoy life more than 
did he when he was winning the attention of the 
world as a newspaper special and a soldier. 



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CHAPTER xn 
JAMES CHEELMAN 

" CreefanM) i* nude of the day from whid ipriiig cruwden, reformers 
■nd martyT»." 

—FaUrum Griboifidoff. 

James Creelman, whose name is familiar to news- 
paper readra-s in most English-speakiQg countries as a 
past master in the art of interviewing and an accom- 
plished all-round journalist, has given a decade of his 
life to the foUowing of the warpath. 

The war between China and Japan was the first 
to which he went as a correspondent, and it abounded 
in picturesque incidents, to all of which the graphic 
style of the special did full jiistioe. He witnessed 
the storming of Ping- Yang by the Japanese troops, 
and scored again after the battle of the Yalu, the first 
naval struggle in which modem battleships were 
tested. The account of the first was written by the 
li^t of a cracked lantern which was hung on an arrow 
fastened in the ground, where, on the outmost ramparts 
of the city, he had betaken himself to escape the roar 
and confusion of the tremoidous celebration of the 
victory, which was at its heif^t. The ancient city 
(^ IHng-Yang, a thousand years before the strongest 
on the continent, sprawled down to the edge of the 
rivar, "its crooked streets ascen<hng gradually and 
ending in steep precipices, crested with castellated 
stone walls, overlooking the valley." Outside these 
walls the industrious Chinese defenders had constructed 
in six wee^ more than thirty earthworks, with walls 
fifteen feet high, making miles of new fortifications. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



JAMES CREELMAN 8S7 

BO tbat it was hard for the observer to understand how 
troops which had the energy to perform such a marvd 
of building yet were driven from their stronghold by 
a force which did not exceed 10,000 men. 

Iliat was the war of the mediaeval and the modem 
with all the dramatic contrasts that are dear to the 
heart of the descriptive reporter. " The Chinese 
commanders," says Creehnan, " with huge spectacles, 
heroes of many a classical debate, and surrounded 
by the painted, embroidered, and carved monsters 
oi mythological war, but wholly ignorant c^ modem 
military science, awaited the coming of the trim little 
up-to-date soldiers of Japan with all the scorn of learned 
foolishness." 

As night descended upon the armies the Chinese 
advanced, sending on ahead a cow and a band of trum- 
peters, which was the correct move aocording to the 
ancient authorities; but this Mongolian alrirmkhing 
scheme did not prove of value, llie Japanese waited 
in silence until the enemy were within three hundred 
feet, thai they fired volley after volley, the skirmish 
oolunm turned and fled, and Oshima's cavalry thun- 
dered at their heels. Before the night was over the 
Japanese forces were so arranged that the dty was 
practically surrounded. Inside the walls the dmma 
were throbbing and the dancing girls were swaying; 
outsde the couriers of the Japanese troops were stealing 
quietly from camp to camp. In the stillness of the 
second hour before the dawn, without the beating 
of any drums or the blaring of any trumpets, the 
Jf^anese columns made their dash, but as they came 
up the ste^ ascent the Chinese boldly swarmed down 
to meet them, only to be driven back a foot at a time. 
At break of day, several companies of Japanese 



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838 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

infantry made a bayonet charge right up the hill and 
in the face of the fire tA more than five hundred re- 
peating rifles. Before the glittering lines c^ bayonets, 
nevertheless, the Chinese gave way in disorder, finally 
fleeing behind the walls of an inner fortification. 

Early that morning the siege batteries commenced 
cannonading. Through the smoke which half hid 
the city gleamed the crinoson and yellow bamiers of 
the defenders. Rain began to fall heavily, where- 
upon, to the amazemexit of the attacking forces, the 
Chinese planted hiige oiled paper umbrellas on the 
walls of their forts to keep them dry while they fought. 
"In every direction Chinese umbrellas could be seen, 
glistening like turtles on the earthworks." At last came 
the most splendid spectacle of that curious battle, 
a body of about three hundred Manchurian cavalry, 
mounted on snow-white horses, moved out, gaUoped 
along a road skirting one oi the city walls, and thai 
suddenly Reeled and charged down the vaUey, 
"where Nozu's troops were stretched across from hill 
to hill between his batteries." In his stirring de- 
scription of tiiat scene Creelman tells how the horsemen 
thundered into the valley " with their long black lances 
set and pennons dancing from shining spear-points," 
how "not a man stirred in the Japanese line as the 
Manchurians swept down on the centre, prepared to 
cut their way through and escape,'* and how "within 
two hundred feet the Japanese infantry and artillery 
opened and horses and riders went down together 
and were hiu-led in bloody heaps." But forty of the 
riders made thdr way throng the line and these were 
stopped presently by a reserve company in the rear. 
The smoke was so dense that another company of 
three hundred similarly mounted also rode out and 



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JAMBS CREEI.MAN 



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JAMES CREELMAN 8S8 

charged down the valley, not knowing the fate of their 
fdlows. Nor did a man of them escape. And a third 
company, numbering only one hundred, galloped out 
to utter annihilation. 

Through many hours the rain fell while the defend- 
ers <^ the walls were huddled under their umbrellas 
and blazing away at nothing with steady persistency. 
Storming parties of the Japanese were taking the 
outer forts one at a time. At four in the afternoon 
the Chinese hoisted a white flag and protested to a 
party of Japanese officers who came forward that 
it was impossible for them to surrender in the rain. 
For a while there was comparative quiet, then the 
assailants resumed the fighting as they discovered 
that Chinese troops were being moved about upon 
the walls. Far into the night the battle continued; 
the Chinese forced the Coreans into the fighting by 
flowing them with whips; flights of Corean arrows 
winged their course through the darkness. The bulk 
of the Chinese forces meantime fled before dawn, mak- 
ing their way out between the troops of Greneral 
Nozu and Colonel Salo. Finally the walls were 
scaled and the Japanese were in possession of the city 
when the sun rose. The battle of Hng-Yang ended 
the power of China in Corea. 

It now was the duty of the correspondent to get 
together the details out of which to frame his account 
of the battle, and to put the report on the wire. He 
sailed down the Tai-Tong in a junk and by steamer 
coasted along the shores of Corea to Chemulpo, 
whence a messenger took his "copy" across the sea to 
Japan. It then was cabled to San Francisco and wired 
to New Ytn^, and the World thus secured a story which 



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840 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

was read in many countries with an interest that 
amounted to fascination. 

But at Chemulpo there was a cable for Creelman 
also. The messa^ had come from Ohio and the 
thirteen p^>er tags attached to it, bearing the seals 
(^ thirteen headquarters of the Japanese army, showed 
that the cable had been long on the trail of the special. 
The despatch contained gust two words: "Boy — 
Well." I^at was enough; Creelman understood. 
But the message bad a sequel. 

As he made his way ba<i to Ping- Yang that night 
he found the main fleet of the Japanese at the mouth 
of the rivet. Admiral Ito had fought the battle <tf 
the Yalu and now was on the Corean coast for repairs 
and the repl^tishment of his supplies of ammunition. 
Creelman alone was on the spot. " Fortune," he says, 
"had given me the first story of the most important 
naval fight of modem times." He boarded the fiag- 
ship Hatkidaie, and thus recounts what occurred: 

"Admiral Ito was asleep. But he dressed himself and 
sent lor his fleet captains in order to help me out with the 
detiuls of the battle. As the Japanese Admiral sat at his 
table surrounded by his officers, with the rude charts of 
Ihe battle spread out before him, be looked like a sea- 
commander — tall, enf^e-eyed, square- jawed, with a sabre 
scar furrowed across his broad foreJiead; a close-mouthed man 
whose coat was always buttoned to the diin. 

"And when the tale of that thrilling struggle on the Ydlow 
Sea was over, the admiral turned to me smilingly. 

'"It is a big piece of news for you,' he said. 

"'Yes,' I answered, 'But I have received a stiD greater 
piece of news.' 

"Then I drew from my pocket the cablegram annoimdng 
the birth of my little boy, and read it. 

"'Good!' cried the admiral. 'We will celebrate the 
event. Steward, bring champagne!' 



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JAMES CREELMAN 341 

"Standing in b aide the admiral and his captuns clinked 
their passes together and drank the health of my boy." 

Corea having been cleared of Chinese troops, the 
Japanese invasion of China b^an. Creelman crossed 
to Manchuria with a detachment of the army of con- 
quest, and hurried on ahead of his baggage and inter- 
preter, riding desperately day and night lest he be 
too late for some important action and find himself 
beaten by rival specials. He reached headquarters 
the night before the attack on Kinchow. 

Worn out as he was, dawn foimd him in the saddle 
and at noon he had lunch with the field-marshal under 
a big tree, when the meal consisted of a tin pail of 
dried peas roasted over a camp fire, and that meal 
was interrupted by the beginning of the cannonade 
which reduced the city after an hour's firing. The 
correspondent's bed was soft enough that night. 
Exhausted once more, he crept into a Kinchow shop 
and lay down in the darkness on a yielding mass of 
merchandise. He awoke in fairyland. He was 
stretched on a great pile of embroidered sUks and a 
splendid collection of jackets and ornaments, with a 
painted yellow monster for a pUlow. 

The massive forts six miles away surrounding Talieoi 
Bay were easily taken by the Japanese, but Creelman 
was injured. He was riding with General Yamaji 
and his staff into an entrenchment, when a Chinese 
shell struck near, wounded his holrse, and threw the 
American to the ground, breaking a rib and hurting 
his knee. He rode back to Kinchow and was looked 
after by a Japanese surgeon. The wounds were not 
serious, but the bandages he declares to have been 
"fearfully impressive." For some time he made his 
quarters in the Kinchow shop, and then, again in 



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342 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

fair condition, he rode with Yamaji, the one-eyed, 
toward Port Arthur. 

Many of the most important incidents of that 
first taking of the great fortress were seen by Creelman. 
With Yamaji he rode for hoxas through the night for 
the turning movement upon which the result of the 
investment was pivoted. In the dawn a great triple 
fort was stormed, and once the correspondent was 
in the redoubt he had the whole battlefield spread out 
under his eyes. He was on the ri^t of the main valley; 
on the left were seven strong forts and at the foot of 
the valley was the town. Beyond on a ridge were 
six massive modern forts, with Ogunsan standing 
far above the town; on a little peninsula were three 
sea forts. The whole made a seemingly impr^nable 
fortress. 

There were colossal duels of the enginery of war; 
forts were captured singly and in groups, and at last 
the conquering Japanese struck some good Chinese 
fighting men. For a time they were halted, but the 
skirmish lines gained the flanks of the Chinese forces. 
A smaU column dashed over the most exposed space. 
The town was doomed. Creelman clambered down 
the face of a bluff and into a valley whence he made 
his way to the top of a hill on the edge of the town, 
where he found the American and British military 
attach^, and watched the advance guard of the 
Japanese entering Port Arthur. The Japanese fired 
volleys, but as they marched forward they encoimtered 
no shots in reply. What ensued must be told in the 
correspondent's own language, for his message created 
a sensation over all the world, and his statem^ita 
were denounced and challenged vehemently: 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



JAMES CREELMAN 34S 

"Hen b^an the meaningless and tmneceasary massacre 
which horrified the civilized world and robbed the Japanese 
victory of its dignity. 

"As the triumphant troops poured into Port Arthur 
they saw the heads of their slain comrades hanging by cords 
with the noses and ears shorn off. There was a rude arch 
at the entrance of the town decorated with these bloody 
trophies. It mi^ have been Has sight which roused the 
blood of the conquerors, and banished humanity and meny 
from their hearts; or it may have been mere lust of slaughter 
— the world can judge for itself. But the Japanese killed 
everything they saw. 

"Unarmed men, kneeling in the streets and begging 
{ix fife, were shot, b^oneted, or beheaded. The town was 
sacked from end to ead, and the inhabitants were butchaed 
in their own houses. . . . 

"In the morning I walked into Port Arthur with the 
correspoodent of the London Times. The scenes in the 
streets were heartrending. Everywhere we saw bodies 
torn and mangled, as if by wild beasts. Dogs were whim- 
pering over the frozen corpses of their masters. The victims 
were mostly shopkeepers. Nowhere the trace of a weapon, 
nowhere the sign of resistance. It was a sight that would 
damn the furest nation on earth." 

Hie pitilessly frank tale which the special gave to 
the world was so startling in itself, and it chained the 
Japanese, whom up to that time Creelman had praised 
lavishly, not only for their courage and ability as 
soldiers, but for their humanity towards a defeated 
foe, with a crime against civilization of such frightful 
dimensions, that the peoples of the world were horrified. 
There were denials, of course. M«i of ability as 
writers and whose chances for observation ought to 
have been excellent, declared there were do atrocities. 
It has been said that the Japanese offered the corre- 
spondent for the New York World a large sum if he 
would suppress the story, but Creelman printed what 



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344 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

he had seen, never retracted a syllable of his statements, 
and in time brought forward an abundance of corrob- 
orative evidence, induding some photographs taken 
on the spot by Frederic Villiers. For his fidelity 
Joseph Pulitzer, the ovner of the World, sent a con- 
gratulatory tel^ram to the banquet given in his honor 
upon his return. 

We next find James Creelman following the war- 
path in that short campaign in Greece which gave 
auch unhampered opportunities to a host of corre- 
spondents, many of whom placed to their credit such 
feats of enterprise as would have been worthy of any 
one of the great wars of the century. Cieelman him- 
self had a picturesque adventure at the very be^nning 
of these lour weeks of fighting. He had been at 
Athens keeping in touch with the events of the Cretan 
crisis while the pickets of the hostile armies approached 
each other in the Meluna Pass until they were divided 
by but a hundred yards. A troop ship carried him to 
Volo and a train to I^arissa, where he mounted a 
scrawny pony and, with a photographer, rode into 
the famous Pass. 

The instant he crossed the Une which bounded 
the toritories of the combatants he was made a 
prisoner, and his captors took him to Elassona,where 
was pitched the camp of the Turkish field-mu^al. 
The Tiirkish correspondent of a Constantinople paper 
acted as his interpreter, and he succeeded, as was 
fitting in the case ot such a master of the art of the 
interview, in securing a long conversation with Mem- 
douh Pasha. Like the other specials who saw the 
Turkish troops in that brief campaign, Creelman was 
struck with admiration of their order and their general 
military excellence, and his talk with the field-marshal 



n,g,t7„ib,.G00gIc 



JAMES CREELMAN MS 

and but a single stroll thioi^ the camp convinced 
him that the Sultan would be an easy victor over the 
Greeks. His stay in the camp was cut short, however, 
for to his consternation another newspaper man reached 
the spot. Let him narrate the adventure which fol- 
lowed in his own lively fashion: 

"The amTal of a London correapondent in Elassona 
sent a chill down my back. I had been the first correspond- 
ent to cross the frontier and enter the Turkish lines. That 
fact in itsdf waa ui important thing for newspaper head- 
lines. But now I waa face to face with a rival who would . 
undoubtedly cl^m the credit unless I reached the telegraph 
station at Larissa before him. Mounting my tired pony 
I started back to Greece. The Englishman saw the point 
and abo made for the frontier. He was mounted on a good 
cavalry horse and easily distanced me on the pUIn, but 
when we reached the Mylouna Pass he was obliged to dis- 
mount and lead his horse over the masses of broken rocks, 
while my pony moved over the d^ris with the skill of a 
mountain goat. . . . 

"The ride down the other side of the Pass at night was 
a thrilling experience. When the foot of the Pass was reached 
the pony fell to the ground exhausted. 

"No other horse was to be had. My rival was moving 
somewhere behind me. The mud was deep, and twelve 
miles stretched between me and Larissa. I started to walk 
across the Thessalian plain alone. For an hour I plodded 
in the sticky road, listening to the howling of the savage 
shepherd dogs that roamed the darkness in all directions. 
Gradually the dogs drew nearer, snipping and snarling 
aa they approached. Presently I found myself surrounded 
by the hungry brutesi and could see them running on all 
sides. I tried to set fire to the giass, but it was too wet. 
The doga were within twenty feet of me. Then I heard 
the sound of footsteps and voices. The dogs retreated. My 
blood ran cold. Was my rival about to find me in this 
ridiculous position and pass me? I started to run toward 
Larissa, but before I had gone two hundred feet I was over- 



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S46 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

tsken by two Gredc soldiers in standied skirts, who had 
beoi srait by the t^cer of the guard in the Pass to protect 
me on my journey. . . . 

"At lymavOB we got a carriage, and I reached Larissa 
at 1 o'dodc in the morning, splashed with mud from head 
to foot. My rival had found a telephone at the frontier, 
and bad sent a message to London, but he was not present 
to plead his cause, and the sight of my travd-stuned gar- 
ments softened the heart of the td^raph supmntendent, 
so that the wire which was conv^ing messages into King 
George's sleeping-room was interrupted long e&ou^ to 
send my message to America." 

The most dramatic incident in the career oi Jamea 
Creelman was, probably, the chatf^ which he led at 
El Can^ in the Spanish-American campaign in Cuba 
in 1898. The story of that exploit makes one of the 
really thrilling tales in the history of war correspond- 
ence, and, fortunately, it has been related by the 
correspondent himself. It was known that General 
Lawton would open on El Caney at sunrise, and the 
newspaper men, having snatched some three hours 
of sleep, were trudging through the mire long before 
dawn. Some ten miles behind them were the despatch 
boats with steam up waiting to speed to the cable 
station on Jamaica with the rqiorters* messages. 
Prudently, Creelman slipped away from his fellow 
specials. A military friend bad given him a whispered 
"tip" at midnight, and it cost him several hours of 
strenuous exertion, fighting thorn thickets and wading 
knee deep in swampa in a temperature that was wither- 
ing. He made the top of a small hill from which the 
stone fort on the elevation before El Caney was clearly 
seal. There, pencil in hand, he watched the small 
squads of men running across the open spaces below 
and creeping into the undergrowths from which th^ 



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JAMES CREELMAN M7 

always emerged a little nearer the gray fort. An 
infantry company stretched out on their faces on the 
side of the hiU on which sat the scribe and volleyed 
into the Spanish trenches. Their powder was smoke- 
less and the Spaniards were trying with glasses and 
tdeacopes to locate their foes. For hours Creelman 
renuuned on this ridge, finally moving forward to the 
next hill, where he found General ChafiFee and a brisk 
infantry fire. A bullet clipped a button from the 
general's coat and "he smiled in a half -startled, half- 
amused way." Rain began to fall, and the corre- 
spondent put on his rain coat. A bullet cut away the 
cape, and the general suggested that a capdess coat 
looked better anyway. Under a tree Creelman sat 
with General Chaffee and related what he had seen in 
the hours of his watch from the hill behind them. 
The charge was the sequel of that conversation. Says 
the reporter: 

"Then I suggested a bt^onet diarge, and offered to lead 
the way if he would send troops to a wrinkle in the hill 
which would partly shelter them until they were within doae 
rushing distance. This was hardly the burineas of a corre- 
sptmdent; but whatever of patriotism and excitement was 
stirring others in that place of carnage had got into my blood 
also. . . . 

*' We pushed our way through a line of low bushes and 
started up the hill to the fort The only weapon I had was 
a revolver, and the holster was hung around to the back 
so that I should not be tempted to draw. 

"When I found myself out on the clear, escarped slope, 
in front of the fort and its deadly trench, walking at the 
head of a storming party, I b^an to realize that I had 
ceased to be a journalist, and was now — foolishly or wisdy, 
leckleaaly. meddlesomely, or patriotically — a part of the 
army, a soldier without warrant to kill. 

"It is oniy three hundred feet to the top at the hiU. 



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348 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

and yet tlie slope looked a mile long. . . . There waa a 
barbed wire fence in front of the trencli, a barrier to prevent 
charges. But it had never occurred to the minds of the 
Spanish engineers that the accursed Yankees — unsoldierly 
shopkeepers! — would think of carrying wire-nippers id 
their pockets. 

" When I reached this fence I was within ten feet of the 
trench and could see dead hands and faces and the hats of 
the living soldiers crouching there. A sdssors^like motion 
of the fingers indicated to Captain Haskell that tnesi with 
wire-nippers were needed. Two soldiers ran up and bc^an 
to sever the wkes. . . . 

"It took but a few seconds to cut a hole in the fence 
and reach the edge of the trench. It was crowded with 
dead and dying men. Those who were unhurt were crouch- 
ing down waiting for the end. ... A silent signal, and 
one of the men who had cut the wire fence advanced, and 
covered the men in the trench with his rifie. A spoken 
word, and the cowering Spaniards leaped up and rused 
their hands in token of surrender. ... In less lime than 
it takes to write it, the trench was crossed and the open 
door at the end of the fort was reached. 

"The scene inside was too horrible for description. 
Our fire had killed most of the garrison, and the dead and 
wounded 1^ on the floor in every conceivable attitude. . . . 
Just inside the door stood a young Spanish officer, surrounded 
by his men. . . . Beside him was a soldier holding a ramrodt 
to which was fastened a white handkerchief, — a mute 
^peal for life. ... I looked about the roofless walls for 
the flag. It was gone. . . . *A shell carried the flag awi^,' 
SBid the planish officer. *It is lying outside.' Dashing 
through the door, and running around to the side facing 
El Caney I saw the red and yellow flag lying in the dust, a 
fragment of the staff still attached to it. I picked it up 
and wagged it at the oitrenched village." 

But the day was not ended for the non-combatant 
volunteer. Bullets were whistling about the door of 
the captured fort and one of them smashed Creelman's 
Irft ann. In spite of the injury he tried to write 



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JAMES CREELMAN 349 

his story, but fever gripped him and his strength began 
to fail. William Randdph Hearst, the publisher of 
hia paper, the New York Journal, came to the rescue, 
wrote the despatch from the special's dictation, imd 
rode with it to the coast, whence the newspaper's boat 
carried it to the end of the cable. 

After Cuba, the Philippines. Creelman bad his 
share of the life in the trenches before Manila, and 
the "wooden-headed censorship" he denounced with 
vigor. He marched with Funston and his Kansas 
regiment and with Gieneral McArthur advanced against 
Malolos, the insurgent capital. When the place was 
deserted by the enemy and the flames burst frran its 
burning buildings the Kansans fired a volley and 
charged. Their commander, Colonel Funston, and 
the news man engaged in a desperate race to be first 
within the town. Over the barricade they leaped 
simultaneously and aide by side footed it in what they 
amicably agreed to consider a tie. 

But that was far from the most exciting race that 
came to James Creelman in the Philippines. The 
struggle to be first at the cable with a woman for a 
competitor was more desperate, and he won it by 
barely a minute. Th«% is no more quarter in war 
correspondence, when it is a matter of being first with 
the news, than is thiere in war itself, and this wife of 
a sick correspondent, trying bravely to do her husband's 
work, was for the time a rival for whom no considera- 
tions of gallantry could be entertained. The Com- 
mission sent by the President to the islands was about 
to issue a proclamation declaring to the people the 
purposes of the United States, and the political situ- 
ation at home made the proclamation a news event of 
the first importance. Printed proofs were handed 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



350 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

the newspaper men and the newspaper woman. Tlie 
office of the censor was two miles away. Creehnan's 
driver lashed his horse while the scribe read the proof 
and tried to cut out the short words, that his skeletonized 
message might be ready for the cable once he reached 
it. The driver managed to bungle the passing of a 
heavy wagon, and the woman dashed by at a furious 
pace, scouring her foaming horse. While she worked 
over her proofs in the censor's office, Creehnan reached 
it. He saw her, threw down his bundle, and to the 
astonishment of the officer, asked that he be authorized 
to cable it all. The pages were initialed by the censor, 
and Creelman ran out of the door. His horse was 
exhausted, but he snatched a carriage standing by, 
and was off for the main cable office. A branch was 
nearer, but he thought it too dangerous to allow a 
woman — and a young woman — to go alone to the 
main office. The English manager knew what quick 
action meant. As he burst into the Uttle wooden 
building he saw at a glance that every instrument was 
silent. Just as he filed his long message, the key over 
which his woman rival's claim would be filed from the 
branch office began to click. Creelman had got the 
cable at the main office a short minute before she had 
ent^ed h^ claim at the branch, but in order to win 
that race he had been obliged to forego the akelet«m- 
izing of his long despatch, and he was forced also to 
pay tolls at the urgent rate, which was nine times 
the regular press rate! The news was worth it, and 
the exigency required it, but the cable chafes cm 
that "acoop" were precisely $7,602.42. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



CHAPTER Xm 
GEORGK WILKINS KENDALL 

"Kendall's letters, with tbelr 'pluiuiiigfire' wera cojHed 
and nude tbe reputation of lausj a galuint officer and soldier.' 
Bvdmn, 

" We remarked attlie ooiniDeiicement of tbe war tliat all its incident* and 
tlw transactions of those who were embayed in it would be more tbot- 
oo^ily known to mankind than thosa of any war that has ever taken place." 
—NikU BtgiittT, Stpltmbrr tS. 18^7. 

Tb.e first war to be adequately and compr^ensively 
reported in the daily press was the conflict of 1846 
and 1847 between the United States and Mexico, 
whidi was fought in the vailey of the Rio Grande and 
among the mountains of the central part of the Mexican 
Republic. This fact has never been recognized by 
the investigators of the history of joiimalism. The 
few writers who have had occasion to refer cursorily 
to the development of the art of war correspondence 
have mentioned the work done by Crabbe Robinson 
in 1807 and 1808. and the mission of Charles Lewis 
Gruneisen to Spain in 1837, and thai they have leaped 
to William Howard Russell and the Crimean letters 
of 1854 and the following years. Crabbe Robinson 
made it no part of his business to see a battle. Nine 
years before the war between the United States and 
Mexico began, the Morning Post sent Gruneisen to 
watch the Carlist campaign; he was attached to the 
headquarters of Don Carlos and he saw fighting, but 
the days of strenuous exertion to get the news home 
had not yet arrived, and there was no competitive 
struggle in London to be first with despatches from 



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352 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

tbe field. Gnmeisen was the first definitely coi 
sioned war reporter, and Russell was the first profes- 
sional war correspondent, but it was eight years after 
the end of the Mexican war that Russell astounded 
Sir Greorge Brown at Malta by the announcement 
that he was going to the Crimea for The Times. 

The American newspaper men who rode with 
Zaichary Taylor and Winfield Scott were war ctHre- 
spondents of the modem type. In a land destitute 
of the railway and the telegraph they showed the same 
qualities of resourcefulness and enterprise in obtaining 
the news and getting it over land and sea to their 
respective papers that Archibald Forbes displayed in 
France in 1870. They organized a courier service, 
and by the occasional employment of special steamships 
fitted up as composing rooms with type cases and com- 
positors, these reporters of seventy years ago scored 
their "scoops" and outaped the government despatch 
bearers. Dependent upon the slow means of commu- 
nication of that primitive era, yet George Wilk ins 
Kendall and some of his confreres were as alert and' 
daring as any correspondents of later years, and they 
deserve to be rated as pioneers in t h e profession, , i 
although, as the reporters of a single war, they must 
- be regarded as r^ular newspaper men to whom a 
war was an exdting episode, rather than as professional 
war reporters who in intervals of peace engaged in- 
cidentfdly in othsr departments of newspaper work. 

It is not strange that the work done by these men 
in remote and little-known Mexico in that far-off 
time has been overlooked. London is not likely to 
have been influenced by what American newspapers 
were doing in that day, and probably the sending of 
Gruneisen to Spain for the Morning Fori had little 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



GEORGE WIUONS KENDALL S6S 

to do witit the policy adopted by the New Orleant 
Picayune and the D^a for the reporting of the expedi- 
tion to the "Halls of the Montezumas." No one 
can say if The Times, whea Russell was sent to the 
Crimea, obtained any suggestion from the work which 
had been done by "G. W. K.," "Mustang," and 
"Chaparral," and other Mexican specials. The Crimean 
commanders thought it an appalling thing that a 
new^aper man was to make the campaign with them, 
but there were a score of newspaper men present at 
every important event in the two campaigns of the 
war m Mexico, and it is a simple chronological fact 
that [the first war reporters to display the qualities 
now universally associated with the title were those 
men of 1846 and 1847^ 

The style of some of the despatches sent out from 
the camps of Scott and Taylor glitters with gewgaws . 
and in some there is palpable intention to flatta* 
certain commanders. Few of these correspondents 
were competent military critics; their lett^s are in 
the main a chronicle of "thrilling achievements" by 
"our gallant troops." But — the scream of the 
American eagle was heard from every stump in every 
political campaign in those days, and these despatches, 
hurried with unexampled speed across two thousand 
miles of sea and land, partake of the characteristics of 
the time. However, the writers had no defeats to de- 
scribe but a succession of victories and marches, some 
of which were very remarkable. Many of their mes- 
sages, especially those of Kendall, are excellent examples 
of reporting, and a good many military reputations ' 
were made by these correspondents. The reporter 
who told how Jefferson Davis suddenly placed his 
lament in the form of a V at Buena Vista to repulse 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



S54 FAMOUS WAR CORBESPONDENTS 

a Mexican charge helped that soldier to become the 
President of the Confederacy. For years the saying 
"A little nu»e grape, Captain Bragg," was as famous 
among Americans as is "You may fire when ready, 
Gridley," today, ot as evex "Up! guards and at them," 
was in England, but Taylor's saying to Braxton Bra^ 
Wfts, of course, in the despatch of a correspondent, 
never in the official reports of an officer. 

When that new enterprise challenged American 
journalism, a new implement for the collection and the 
- distribution of news was just coming into use. Over 
a wire forty miles long, a year and a half before the 
first shotB woe fired, the tel^raph had demonstrated 
its utility as a bear^ of news. When the fighting 
b^an on the lUo Grande only about 1200 miles 61 
telegraph were in operation, and the wires stretched 
almost entirely north horn the city of Washington 
into the populous Middle and Eastern States, llie 
tity of New Orleans, near the mouth of the Mississippi, 
a thousand miles from Washington, was the centre 
for news of the war. To the Southran metropolis 
the tidings were brought by steamboat and sailing 
vessel from Point Isabel, from Tampico and from Vera 
Cruz, and to the ships the news was brought by the 
daring couriers, the express riders who had to run the 
gauntlet of the gu«illas who infested the dry plains 
of northern Mexico and the difficult moimtain r^on 
between the capital and the city of Vera Cruz, whence 
Scott started on his march inland. 

There was great rivalry among the New Orleans 
papers to be first on the street with the news which 
the couriers and the ships brought to the city. From 
New Orleans the news was sent up the Mississippi 
River by steamboat to St. Louis, Cincinnati and 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



GEOBGE WILKINS KENDALL 355 

Chicago, but the most strenuous exertions were made 
to send it on to Washington in the shortest possible 
time. By steamboat and pony express the copies 
of the New Orleans papers and the packets of letters 
were hurried across the Southern States. Once in 
Washington the new Morse system was at the service ' 
of the government and the press, and there were also 
between two and three thousand miles of railroad 
in operation, but over vast areas of the North neither 
the wire nor the railway was available for the trans- 
mis^on of news. 

In New York City the competition to get the 
tidings first from New Orleans was as keen as was the 
rivalry in the Southern city to be first with despatches 
from Mexico. The most energetic papers of the day 
were the Picayune and the Detia in the metropolis of 
tite South and the Herald in New York City; to these 
journals the coimtry was indebted chiefly for its intel- 
ligence of the war. The telegraphic era of the press 
may be said to have begun with the reports wired from 
Washington of the opening battles on the Rio Grande. 

News from the "Independent Republic of Texas" 
b^an to be of enormous interest to the coimtry about 
the year 1844, and James Gordon Bennett of the Herald 
at once planned to supply the demand by extensive 
additions to the overland express service. The election 
of Junes K. Polk to the Presidency indicated a majority - 
l^>proval for the annexation of Texas, and annexation 
meant trouble with Mexico. The election occurred 
in the November of 1844, and, without waiting for 
the war which seemed inevitable to many, Bennett, 
oa the day after the following Christmas, announced 
an overland express from New Orieans. When the 
war b^an in 1846, the service became a national 



DigiUnlbyGOOglC 



368 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

necessity, and Bennett made arraDgmente with the 
Sun of Baltimore and the PvHic Ledger of Philadelphia 
' to run an express every week, and on extra days when- 
ever the news reaching New Orleans from Mexico 
might justify the expense. 

The correspondents who went to the war in Mexico 
took their hints for speedy delivery of news from the 
pony express systems with which they had been ac- 
quainted in the States. The application of the relay 
system to the expediting of press reports from the 
battle-field was a new thing in the world. These pioneer 
war reporters also used the methods employed by the 
papers of the North to get their news across the Gulf 
of Mexico. The founders of the New Orleans Picayune 
were Northern men and they knew how cleverly sailing 
ships and steamboats had beoi brought into the 
service of the press. 

New Orleans was the focal point to whidi all the 
lines converged in the Mexican War time and from 
which they diverged again to all parts of the United 
States. Conditions in the city were such as to produce 
an intense rivalry in the collection and dissemination 
of news. Among all classes there was a lively interest 
in the affairs of the sturdy Texans. Moreovw, there 
were as many daily papers in the city as in Loudon, 
eight in all, and a few years later there were more. 
Five 6t these were [ninted wholly in English in the 
American quarter, and three of them, the Picayune, 
the Times and the Sun, were sold for a penny, so-called, 
for in the absence of copper coins in the city these 
"penny papers" were bought with a coin of the lowest 
denomination there in use, the picayune, whose value 
was about six and a quarter cents. 
\ In that historic and picturesque dty, George 

D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



GEORGE WELKINS KENDALL $57 

mikim Kendall, a New Hampshire Yankee, and 
Frands Lumsden established the Pice^fune, the first 
cheap paper which the city possessed, the inaugural 
number of which was issued on January 25, 1837. 
Bom in 1809 in what is now Mount Vernon, N. H., 
I^dall learned the printer's trade in Burlington, 
Vermont, and woi^ed as a printer in Washingt<Hi on 
the National I-nUUtgencer, with **I>uff" Green on the 
National Tdegraph, and with Horace Greeley on the 
New York TribuTie. He developed a fondness for 
jocosities, and accumulated in his memory a large 
store' of anecdotes, scraps of humor, epigrams and 
witty sayings. In the midst of the cholera year c^ 
18S2 in New York, he left for New Orleans, and ahea: 
a year with the Alabama Regi^tr at Mobile, he reached 
that city at the age of twenty-five. Here after a 
couple of years he joined forces with Lumsden and 
established a cheap daily. At the b^inning only a 
four-page folio about ten inches by fifteen in size, but 
characterized by its bright and witty quality, it is 
described in its infancy "as an audacious little sheet, 
scarcely large enough to wrap around a loaf of bread, 
and as full of witticisms as one of Thadca-ary's dreams 
after a light supper." It made a stir in a city whose 
officials were accustomed to deferential boma^ by 
printing livdy sonnets about them. It dared to 
make jokes about sugar and cotton and it " sneezed 
at tobacco." The innovati<m was startling and it 
caught tiie fan<^ of the people. The paper became 
a kaleidoscope in which all the hues of the many- 
colored life of the city were reflected. A contemponuy 
writer says the paper could no more avoid success, 
than a clever ^1 can avoid a husband. After a few 



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858 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

years Kendall embarked upon the adventure which 
took him to Mexico for the first time. 

Says the social historian of old New Orleans: 
"Greorge Wilkins Kendall went off one fine day to 
what he proposed would be a kind of picnic in the wilds 
of western Texas. His Santa Fe expedition spun out 
a larger and more varied experience than he contem- 
plated." True, indeed, for towards the end of the year 
rumors of the fate of the expedition began to filter 
back to the United States, and the Legislatures of 
Louisiana, Kentucky and Maryland called upon the 
President to secure the hberation of the American 
dtizois said to be immured in the dungeons of the 
city (rf Mexico. 

Kendall's own graphic narrative supplies a complete 
record of the adventure, and a few incidents which 
were told in the Picayune in 1842 supplied Captain 
Maryatt with material which he incorporated in his 
"Monsieur Violet," published in London in 1848. 
la April, 1841, Kendall, now well established as an 
editor and wit in New Orleans, met an agent who 
was purchasing equipment for the expedition. Its 
purpose was declared to be commercial, and Kendall 
is said to have been in ignorance of its real character 
as a filibustering enterprise. An extensive trade had 
been carried on between Santa Fe and the United 
States through St. Louis, and it was proposed that 
much of this business should be diverted by ihc opening 
of a military road from Santa Fe to Austin, Texas. 
The Congress of the United States rejected a bill 
authorizing and finandng the expedition, and it was 
thai supported o£Scially by General Lamar, the gover- 
aoT (tf the Independent State at Texas. Lamar issued 
a proclamation offering to take the people of Santa 



GEORGE VmJQNS KENDALL 359 

Fe under the protection of Texas if they desired, ami 
if th^ were averse he affirmed his wish to establish 
friendly commercial Telationa with them. The expe- 
dition was organized in militai? fashion as a protective 
measure, for between the settled districts of Texas 
and New Mexico there stretched a region six hundred 
miles wide, through which roamed hordes of savages. 
Santa Fe was entirely Mexican and imd«- Mexican 
rule, and historians are of the opinion that Goveruor 
Armijo of New Mexico was justified in seizing the 
"invaders" and sending them as prisoners of war to 
Mexico, but that the surrender was induced by false 
promises and that the captives were dealt with brutally 
and treacherously. 

The force with irtiich Kendall had associated him- 
self, probably out of love of adventure, started from 
near Austin in June, 1841. There were two hundred 
and seventy soldiers and fifty other persons in the 
party, but the wagons were overloaded, the guides 
were not reliable and the distance had been under- 
estimated. Grass and water were scarce owing to 
the lateness of the start and men and animals were 
soon gaunt and feeble from hunger; stragglers were 
killed by Indians; traitors were found in the expedition's 
membership. Obliged to separate into detachments, 
all were taken fijially by General Armijo. Lamar's 
proclamations were burned as a bonfire in the plaza 
of Saute Fe. The prisoners were tied together with 
lariats and started on a long journey to the city of 
Mexico. Kendall produced his passport signed by 
the Mexican consul at New Orieans; it was pronounced 
genuine, but as he was "with the enemies of M^co" 
he was detained with the rest Several prisonra^s 
were shot in the back and some were mutilated. 

,.. ,,::l,.GOOgIC 



S60 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

The prisoners trudged along on the march to Mexico, 
guarded by two hundred mounted men. The swollen 
ankles of a Texan made it impossible for him to march 
further and he was shot without ceremony. One 
night, to the number of two hundred, the captives were 
piled in a room barely big enough for twenty, what 
Kendall called "another Black Hole of Calcutta." 
The miseries of the tramp became almost insupportable. 
Arrived at the capital, the worn-out Texans were thrown 
into dungeons in Mexico, Puebla and Forote. Those 
who were able to prove themselves citizens of the United 
States or of European countries sought the aid of the 
representatives of their respective nations, and in 
the end were released. In June, 1842, more than 
one hundred were liberated as an act of clemency on 
the birthday of Santa Anna, who was again at the 
head of the government. 

Kendall was at first confined in the old palace of 
San Cristobal, and there he was visited by the members 
of the United States legation, and by Lumsden, hb 
partner in the Picayune, who soon returned to New 
Orleans to plead his cause. After an attack of small- 
pox Kendall was removed to the gloomy San Lazaro, 
where he was confined among the lepers. Removed 
at lengtii from the leper prison, the editor was put in 
chains with other captives and immured at Santiago. 
They were taken to the cathedral services from time 
to time, and Kendall was planning an attempt to 
escape upon one of these walks to mass, when the order 
came for his release. A blacksmith knocked off his 
irons and he made his way home through Jalapa and 
Vera Cruz. He arrived in New Orleans to find himself 
famous and wrote a fasdnating accoimt of his ex- 
periences. There followed three years of journalism, 



GEOKGE WILKINS KENDALL 861 

with the Picayune waxing more influential from year 
to year, and then the war summoned his energies. 

The New Orleans newspapers sent nearly a score 
of correspondraits to the war, a few of whom were 
with the armies o{ Taylor and Scott throughout thdr 
campaigns. Often they printed daily news sheets at 
the places occupied by the army; at Tampico, Lumaden 
himself issued the Tampko SerUind. When Robert 
Anderson, then an artillery o£Scer with Scott and later 
to be the hero of Fort Sumter, wrote home from Vera 
Cruz he r^erred to the American Eagle, which he was 
sending home to supplement the news his letters 
contained. The Eagle was published by three news- 
paper adventurers, who followed the army on to Jalapa 
and there issued the American SUa; continuing the 
series also in Fuebla and in the city of Mexico. 

Aside from Kendall, the most enterprising corre- 
spondent with the troops was James L. Freaner of the 
DeUa, who used the signature "Mustang." At the 
battle of Monterey he killed an officer of Lancers in 
sin^ combat and seized his chaiger, whence the name 
whidi he adopted for newspaper purposes, according 
to the fashion of the times. After some early adven- 
tures in Texas and Louimana he had gone to the Rio 
Grande with the New Orleans regiments, later enter- 
mg a famous company of rangers led by Captain Jack 
Hays. Hs was involved in the controversy which 
grew out of the publication in the DeUa of what was 
called the '* Leimidas letter," in which the priuses of 
G^ieral Pillow were trumpeted with more noise than 
wisdom. Upon two occasions Freaner was the bear» 
of important official despatches, carrying messages 
to Washington for General Scott in November. 1847, 



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S6« FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

and taking the Treaty of Peace from Nicholas Trist 
to the President in February, 1848. 

The necessity of the war with Mexico was steadily 
maintained in the columns of the Picayune, and no 
soon^ did the conflict actually b^n than I^dall 
was away for the "BUo Grande. Point Isabel was 
selected as flie base for the army of General Taylor, 
and there vessels were constantly arriving and departing 
and troops from every State in the Union were landed. 
Soon the army went into camp on the Rio Grande 
opposite Matamoras, and between the camp and the 
base maO riders traveled every day. Frequently 
these riders lost their mail bags and occasionally they 
were captured by the prowling bands of guerillas 
which fxaXy in 1846 infested that portion of the lines 
of communicaticMi. 

Through the summer of 1846, Kendall was much 
of the time with the Rangers of Captain Benjamin 
McCuIloch, a conmiander whose men called him 
" Ben," who *' could ride anything that went on four 
legs," who fou^t, camped, and drank at his own 
discretion, and who had not the sli^test notion of 
discipline or drill, but nevertheless was invaluable 
to the main body of the army because of his abilities 
as a scout. With the Mexican mounted bodies known 
as the Lancers be had innumerable brushes and in 
many of these Eendall had a share. The Rangers 
were the Rough Riders of their day, with bandanna 
handkerchiefs knotted rotmd their throats, in the 
Haveloc^ fashion of the Roosevelt men of 1808, and 
cartridge belts tied about thdr waists, very quick 
on the trigger and very cunning in their cross country 
rides. 

With these daring men the New Orleans editor 
waded and JBoundered through water, mire and mud 



GEORGE WILKINS KENDALL 36S 

when the Bio Grande was over its banks, and crept 
through the thick and matted chaparral under a scordi- 
ing sun. "Not a sign of a tent do we take along," 
he said, "and shade and shelter are unknown here.'* 
Taylor did not favor a march against the city of Mezioo 
with the Rio Grande as a base because of the difficulty 
of obtaining supplies and decided upon an attack 
upon the northern provinces. Going up the riv^, he 
established Camaigo as a base of supplies and eaxly 
in August b^an to move against the important dty 
of Monterey, which was completely encircled by strong 
forts, with barricaded streets and loop-holed houses. 
By the end of September the fortress had been stormed 
and the city was surrendered. 

All these operations were observed by Kendall 
and he sent back couriers with reports for the Ptcaj/tms 
as (rften as was possible. Almost as a free lance he 
rode with the Rangers. In the storming of the second 
height at Monterey a member of his mess was shot. 
One morning just at dawn, after a night under the 
Spanish bayonet trees, ten miles from Monterey, 
with a Uttle party of twenty-five horsemen, Kendall 
set forth upon a reconnoitering expedition. During 
the morning they fell in with a huge body of Mexican 
cavalry, whom they rushed in approved prairie fashion 
and drove back. Some weeks later, when SaltiUo was 
entered by the troops of Taylor, there were other 
skirmishes between McCulIoch's men and the Mezi< 
mounted troops. Li one of these small fights, Kendall, 
who much of the time was doing the work of a soldier 
and could hardly claim the immunity of a non- 
combatant usual^ granted a war correspondent, 
plunged into the melee and came out with a cavalry 
flag as a trophy, a flag which has upon occa8i<Hi been 



1,. Google 



S64 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

exhibited in New Orleans by the Picayune in the booth 
maintained for carnival and ea^xjsition puzposes. 

Before the battle of Buena Vista was fought Taylor's 
veterans were ordered to Tampico to become ajpart 
of the army to be mobilized for s«^ce under General 
Scott, leaving the northern commander with a com- 
paratively small force. As the central part of Mexico 
now was to become the scene of the most important 
operations, ^ndall made his way to Tampico and 
Lumsden also established himself there. For weeks 
aft^ Taylor had won the battle wiiich made him a 
national hero and secured for him the I^«sidency of 
the United States, the whole country was fiUed with 
rumors of the most di^eartening sort. Taylor had 
been "badly whipped" by Santa Anna and "driven 
through the streets of Saltillo." The battle occurred 
on February 33, 1847, but the result was not known 
for a month. 

President Polk's diary indicates how deep was the 

. anxiety in Washington. He expressed the opinion 

j that among the advisers who "controlled" the move- 

1 ments of the general was " Mr. ^ndall, editor of the 

Picayune at New Orleans." On March 20, 1847, the 

I Presidoit found the mails bringing many vague rumors 

from New Orleans; the next day's mails brought details 

of Taylor's critical poation; on the evening of the 

twenty-secMid the messages had "Taylor completely 

cut off by an overwhelming force of the enemy," and 

Polk recorded his grave fears for the safety of the 

army of Northern Mexico. The rumors continued 

to reach the capital and Folk continued to record his 

criticisms of Taylor, until the last days of March 

brought newspaper reports of the fighting, and the 

first evening of April brought the offidal reports. 



DigiUrrlbyGOOglC 



GEORGE WILKINS KE^TDALL 365 

Santa Anna had acted with boldness and skill 
in attacking Taylor at Bueoa Vista, A guerilla band 
had intercepted a despatch rider and given Santa 
Anna posses^mi of the plans for the coming campaign. 
Wi\h this information at his service he marched north 
at once to assail Taylor, whose veterans had been 
stripped from him. The fighting was desperate and 
a less resolute commander than Taylor would have 
been defeated. The tidings were delayed in reaching 
the States by the interruption of communication 
between Monterey and Point Isabel. The New 
Orleans papers were filled with the stories that filtered 
through Tampico and Vera Cruz. Messengers from 
the camp of the army could reach Monterey, but to 
get through to Camargo they were obliged to make a 
detoitr of hundreds of miles to evade the Mexican 
marauders. The Picmfune finally received the news 
from a messenger who left Monterey on March 9, 
sailed from the Brazos aboard a schooner on March 
14, and fifty miles below the city took passage in a 
towboat which landed bim in New Orleans at three 
on the morning of March 24. The copies of the Pica- 
yune containing the joyful tidings reached Baltimore 
and Washington when a fierce political debate was 
going on as to the responsibility for the weakening of 
the army of Taylor to such an extent that Santa Anna 
had been able to wredc it. The (^dal despatches 
arrived a day later. 

Meantime Scott had been organizing the army 
with which he was to march to the capital of Mexico. 
By the «id of January, 1847, he had gathered his 
men at Brazos, San Jago and Tampico, whence during 
February they were carried in transports to the Island 
of Lobos, sixty miles south of Tampico, and from there 



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866 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

they Bet sail for Vera Cruz. The mvestmoit was 
begun by General Worth, with whom throughout the 
campaign Kendall was closely associated, and in 
fourteen days the Americtms were in the city. ^^- 
dall's pen was very busy. Tbirteen-iDdi shells from 
the castle of San Juan de Ulloa were bursting 
near him as he wrote his letters from Vera Cruz. 
With his messages he sent topographical sketches 
oi the defences and the lines of investment. On 
April 18, the army swept up through the pass of Cent) 
Gordo and stormed the heights. Lumsden also had 
been at Vera Cruz, but a we^ before Cerro Gordo 
he was hurt in an acddeat, and he sent a letter to his 
paper s^ing that he was writing " splintered up, tucked 
up and tied up, after having been carried back into the 
city of Vera Cruz on the shoulders of a lot of soldiers." 
But Kendall was upon the scene throughout the 
fighting at Cerro Gordo, and kept almost an hour-to- 
hour record of the conflict. He wrote on the evening 
of April 15, on the morning of the following day at 
eight and at eleven, twice in the afternoon, and several 
times on the next day. His lettos were sent back to 
Vera Cruz consigned to his partner, and the " splintered 
up" Lumsden did what he could to expedite their 
passage to New Orleans. The mountains became 
higher, wilder and more difficult of ascent and the 
Mexican guns were firing down upon the advancing 
invaders. Scott's troops swept on and up, but their 
lines were thinned day by day by incurable fever and 
the steadily downpouring cannonade and musketry 
of the ambushed Mexicans. Every day there was a 
skirmish and frequently there was a battle; on Aprfl 
22, Worth took possession of Perote, a strong fortress 
which should have been defended. On May 1, Kendall 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



GEORGE WILKmS KENDALL S67 

was writing from Jalapa. A little later he entered I 
Puebia with Scott, and stretched out to sle^with ) 
the rank and file of the troops in the public square. I 
Early in June. Kendall had to take his turn d incapaci- 
tation. He was dck, and '*the Man in the White 
Hat" — curious sobriquet for a substitute corre- 
spondent — was writing his letters for him. UntO 
early August the army remained quiet; the men drilled; 
they climbed to the church at Cholula which had 
replaced the sacrificial temple of the Aztecs; and they 
looked at the snow summits beyond which lay the 
"Halls of the Montezumas" of which so much had 
been said in the States when the war be^tan. 

The army reached the crest of these mountains 
on August 10, and the troops sighted for the first time 
the "Venice cd the Aztecs," the city which Cortez 
had conquered three hundred years before. Never 
was a capital surrounded with such a maze c^ defences, 
fortresses, causeways, canals and swamps; but one 
after another the forts were stormed, and on December 
13, Chapultepec, which the Mexicans believed to be 
impr^nable, was tak^i. Through these actions Ken- 
dall was with General Worth, serving mudi of the 
time as a volunteer aide on his staff. Hurried letters, 
written a few hours aput, were sent off with synopses 
of the battles which crowded one upon another. Five 
successive engagements, entirely distinct from each 
other, were fought in one day, and each was an attack 
on entrenchments against an enemy of greatly superior 
numbers. Of "the glorious events of the twentieth" 
Kendall wrote with enthusiasm. He had climbed 
church towers to have views of the fields, he had gone 
over the ground after the fighting, he had carried des- 
patches for Worth. His letters are full of familiar 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



368 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

names, Franklin I^erce, Phil Kearney and bis great 
diarge, Anderson, Hitchcock, and Robert E. Lee. 
Churubusco, Contreras, and the other actions thus 
lost, determined Santa Anna to seek an armistice, 
and during the cessation of hostiUties which ensued 
the Mexican commander sought to strengthen his 
defences. 

The sham was penetrated by Kmdall, whose ex- 
perience while a prisoner in the city of Mexico a few 
years before enabled him to detect the design. It 
was on the evening after Churubusco that he was 
sitting in the tent of Rafael Semmes, later to be famous 
as the commander of the Alabaina, when the emissaries 
of Santa Anna arrived to propose a truce to General 
Scott. They were entertained for a few minutes by 
General Worth and ihea sent with an escort to Genial 
Scott's headquarters. The instant they were gone, 
Kendall, says Semmes, "with the bluntness and 
frankness which characterize him, exclaimed: 'It's 
no use; we're humbugged — Mcintosh is among 
themi'" While a captive, Kendall had come to know 
Mcintosh, a British subject, acting as consul for the 
English government, and described as a "creation of 
Santa Anna." As a neutral he aided in arranging 
the terms of the armistice, but Kendall declared through 
the whole interval that the only object was to gain 
time, and the sequel proved him to be correct. 

The fighting resumed, Scott was able after two 
severe actions to enter the city. At the cluster <rf 
stone buildings once used as a foundry, Worth fought 
the battle of Molino del Rey, and in his despatches 
under date of September 10, he mentions Kendall: 

"I have to acknowledge my obligations to the gentle- 
men df the staff, who performed th^r duties with accustfHued 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



GEORGE WnJQNS KENDALL 369 

intdUgence and braveiy — G. W. Kendall, Esq., of Louisiana, 
Captain Wyse and Mr. Hai^us, army agent; who came 
upon the field, yolimteered their acceptable servicea, and 
conducted themselves, in the transmission of orders, with 
coniqncuous gallantry." 

Five days later the steep and rocky hill with the 
heavy stone walled fortress of Chapultepec was stormed, 
an action in which Worth had a part with Kendall 
again on his staff. The following day, Septemb^ 14, 
Scott made bis formal entry into the capital of Mexico, 
and the army at last actually occl^>ied the "Halls 
of the Montezumas." Just before the fighting ceased, 
in almost the final episode, Kendall for the first time was 
wounded. He was struck in the knee by a bullet, and 
again Worth mentioned him in his formal report, 
saying under date of September 26: 

"... Major Borland and G. W. Kendall, voltmteer 
aides-de-camp, the latter wounded, each exhibited habitual 
gallantry, intdligence and devotion." 

The negotiation of the Treaty of Peace required 
much time and long before it was concluded Kendall 
was back in New Orleans. With a train of six hundred 
dragoons he left the city of Mexico on November 1, and 
reached his home on November 24, aboard a steams 
loaded with sick and wounded soldiers. 

In what has been said there ore many intimations 
of the difficulties which newspaper men had to over- 
come to reach their journals with their packets of news. 
Genera] Taylor several months after he took the field 
had reason to refer to the "wholly inadequate" means 
oi commimication between the Army of Occupation 
and the city of New Orleans. At the beginning of 
the war he had asked for a despatch vessel, and a " dull 
and slow sailer" was the only ship placed entirely under 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



S70 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

the control of the quartermaster's department. From 
three to five days was the ordinaiy time between PfHnt 
Isabel and Brazos, Santiago, and New Orleans with 
the news from the army of General Taylor; from five 
to seven days was the time of the passage between 
Vera Cruz and New Orleans with the news from 
Scott's army, the shorter time being that of the steam- 
ships and the slower that of the sailing vessds. In 
order to gain a few hours on their competitors, Lumsden 
and Kendall made plans for the meeting of vessels 
some hours out from New Orleans with a small and 
fast steamer. This vessel they equipped as a press 
boat, putting typesetters aboard her and all the 
apparatus for setting despatches. The boat met the 
incoming ships sometimes at the mouth of the Missis- 
sippi and at other times at points off the Gulf coast 
in the track of approaching vessels from Mexico. 
The despatches once in the hands of the compositors, 
they were set up and made ready for printing on the 
way up the river to the city, and upcai arrival there 
they were hurried to the press and extras run off; 
thus several hours were often gained. It is said that 
upon one occasion a steamer was chartered for the 
voyage across the Gulf from Vera Cruz at a cost of 
95000, an enormous sum for those days, and important 
despatches were put into type during the passage to 
New Orleans; but the detaUs of this exploit I have been 
unable to obtain. 

Fully as enterprising were the partners in thdr 
organization of a means of getting their news across 
the land. In a coimtiy infested by irre^lar troops 
the only means of communication were the heavily 
armed company of dragoons able to stand off an enemy 
in a fight and the speedy and cunning express ridor 



DigiUnlbyGOOglC 



GEORGE WILKINS KENDALL 371 

who relied upon his wit and hb good horse to elude 
and distance pursuers. The former might be at 
the service of the army; the latter must necessarily 
be the reliance of the newspapers. These express 
riders were employed by Kendall and Lumsden, but 
to secure their services they had to spend large sums. 
They provided them with the best mounts obtainable. 
As Taylor advanced into the interior of northern 
Mexico and distances became longer extra horses 
were stationed at convenient points on the relay system. 
Point Isabel was the objective and as close connection 
as was possible was made with the ships for New 
Orleans. Between Vera Cruz Euid the capital the 
difficulties of the express service were still greater. The 
country was infested with bandits who robbed and 
murdered even wounded Mexicans, for the nature of 
the country favored the guerilla system. The road 
for miles from the coast was throu^ sand hills and 
chaparral, through which progress in the intense heat 
was slow; thence the way led through a tropical jungle 
where marauders might pounce upon stragglers with 
ease. At two points in the mountains the bandits 
gathered in numbers tmder several notorious leaders. 
Mail bags were occasionally recovered where they 
had been left after the robbers had «camined thdr 
contents and taken whatever of value they were able 
to find. The despatch riders of General Scott were 
cut o£F again and again, and more than once there 
was deep anxiety in Washington owing to the abs^ice 
ci official news of the army swallowed up in the moun- 
tains of Mexico. 

Quick and sure communication with Verz Cruz 
was what Kendall sought to secure for the transmis- 
sion of his news despatches. Very probably the system 



,..,.,glc 



87S FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

which he arranged was the most r^ular and certain 
of any that waa established during the American 
campaign, for Anderson several times entrusted his 
own letters to what he calls "Mr. Kendall's express." 
The riders started usually at midnight, and, chosoi 
for their familiarity with the country and for their 
courage, they proceeded cautiously and rapidly ni^t 
and day xasiS the end of their ride, picking up fresh 
horses at intervals where the correspondent had been 
able to arrange for their care. Some of the men em- 
ployed upon this perilous service must have been daring 
fellows, for several lost thdr lives while trying to get 
through the ambushes oS the guerillas. Tliree in 
succession were captured in August, 1847, and one 
of these was killed fighting desperately. At least 
one of the couriers sent to the coast with a small escort 
by Greneral Scott was killed and his body mutilated. 
Thus the odds were decidedly against the represses 
of the Picayune, yet until the very end of the campaign 
these couriers continued to run the gauntlet with a 
surprising d^ree of success. To the riders for the 
British L^ation and the British mercantile houses 
established in the city of Mexico the army and the 
newspapers were also indebted in some degree. The 
legation courier was an old cavalry officer who rode 
post betwe«i Mexico City and Vera Cruz. While 
Kendall was at Jalapa he referred to Rafael, the 
celebrated courier, of the British merchants, and de- 
clared that a whole legion of robbers had received 
license to plunder on the roads. 
I By means of his combination of coiuier and steam- 
boat service the Yankee journalist was able to record 
I a lai^ number of exclusive despatches for the Pico- 
\ jfune during the two years of the M^can War. The 



l..„,„,.<n by Google 



GEORGE WILKINS KENDALL 378 

files of the paper show how complete was the corre- 
spondmce {rem the field, and comparisons prove that 
no other paper covered the war so comprehmsively. 
The press of the entire country teemed with citatioiu 
from the Picayune during 1846 and 1847. 

After the army of Gfeneral Scott had occupied the 
dty of Mexico and the fighting of the war was over, 
and after the editor^correspondent, with "Major" 
prefixed to his name, had returned to New Orleans, 
the Picayune still had opportunity to score a great 
"beat" in connection with the signing of the Treaty 
of Guadalupe Hidalgo in February, 1848. and this time 
again the War Department itself was outpaced. A 
chartered steamer brought a copy of the Treaty of 
Peace from Vera Cruz. Chosen for speed and prefMred 
carefully in advance for a fast trip, she left the govern- 
ment's messenger ship far astern. The paper's extras 
gave the news to the readers of New Orleans, and then 
the pony express carried copies north and east to Balti- 
more, so that the BaUiimre Sun printed the treaty, 
sent copies to the capital, and circulated them on the 
streets of Washington before the officials of the govern- 
ment had received the intelligence. 

Mr. Kendall left for Europe soon after the close 
of the war, remaining several years and spending 
much of his time in Paris making arrangements for the 
illustration of his work upon the battles which he had 
witnessed. The volume appeared in quarto form and 
was a sumptuous production for those days. A few 
of the colored lithographs have been many times repro- 
duced, especially that of the formal entry into the 
captured capital of Mexico. In Paris, Kendall met 
and married Mademoiselle Adeline de Valcourt, whose 
father was with Napoleon on the retreat from Moscow, 



...yCOOglC 



S74 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

whose oldest brother was in the Crimea, and whose 
youngest brother served in the war of 1870. Returning 
to the United States the journalist removed to Texas 
and established himself upon a laige ranch in the county 
which now bears his name, retaining, however, his 
interest in the Picayunt, and doing much writing lae 
it His death occurred in 1876. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



CHAPTER XIV 
"COVERING" THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 

" Bnt let me aa,y if tltoae who envy tbe war ooimpoiideiit were once 
bnnight into dtwe contact irith all the realitiea of mr — if tbej were 
oUiged to stand the dunces of gettins thrii heads Unoded off by an 
unejqiected ikeU, or bored throuf^ with a minie ball, — to stand their 
dtauces of being captured by the enemy, — to live on bread and water 
aodHttle vtit — to sleep on the ground, or on a sack o( com. or in a bam 
with tbe wind blowing a gale and the snow irtucUng in drifts, and the 
thermMnettr shrunk to sero, — and then after the battle is over and the 
field won, to walk among the dying and the dead and behold all the ghastly 
ii^U . . . to hear aD around si^s, sToans, imprccatioiiB and prayers — 
they would be content to let otLers become the historians of war." 

— CliarUt Cariebm Cqfflti. 

"'AmericaD methods.' Hiiis certain Enduh papers explained the 
Tribiauia 1S70. We had four yean Civil War experience, while the 
Eu^h, nnleia we reckon the Indian Mutiny, had to go back to the 
CruDKan War in 16H for precedents in war correswDdeuce." 

— Qtorgt WoMnoTX Smallty. 

Thb most curious and beautiful memorial in the 
world to War correspondents ia tbe combination of 
ardi and tower built of the stones of the mountain 
aide upon the summit of the historic South Mountain 
in Maryland, near the scene of the e^loits of John 
Brown and the battlefield of Antietam, by Geoi^ 
Alfred Townsend, himsdf a noted war correspondent 
in the struggle for the Union. Above a Moorish arch 
he superimposed three Roman arches, and these he 
flanked witb a square crenellated tower, producing a 
bizarre and picturesque effect. Niches shelter a carving 
of a horse's head and symbolic statuettes of Mercury, 
Electricity and Poetry. Tablets bear the suggestive 
words, "Speed" and "Heed," and quotations appro- 
priate to the art of war correspondence from a great 
variety kA sources beginning with the Old Testament, 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



S7fl FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

and, what is the most strildng feature ai this unique 
monument, there are tablets inscribed with the names 
at one hundred and fifty-seven correspondents and 
war artists who saw and described in picture and 
narrative ahnost all the events of the foiu* years <d 
the war which Mommsen pronounced the mightiest 
recorded in history. 

I That was the heroic age of American newspapv 
enterprise; no war befcne or since has made sudi de- 
mands upon the press. The campaign in the Crimea, 
the war between France and Germany and the Russo- 
Turkiah conflict, such expeditions as those for the 
recovery e^ the Soudan, were short in compariscm with 
the successicHi of sieges, bombardments, raids, marches, 
chaises, stormings, blockades, battles on sea and 
land which began with Fort Sumter and ended with 
Appomattox. At intervals of years European journals 
( have been called upon to report sieges — Sebastopc^ 
Paris, Plevna, Ladysmith, Port Arthur — and to 
describe great battles — Solferino, Sadowa, Sedan, 
i Omdurman — but Vicksbtug, Atlanta, Charleston, 
I and Petersburg, and ShUoh, Malvern Hill, Frederidcs- 
] burg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and the Wilderness, 
'■ were but a few of the events of the first magnitude 
\ which followed hard upon one another in the long 
'and desperate conflict for the preservation of the 
Republic. 

The War of Secession was of the first importance 
in the development of the art of war correspondence. 
When Sumter was fired upaa, April 12, 1861, there 
were nn f^ilif.jps_fnr the gathering of news at the 
front and its transmission to the cities in which the 
great journals were published. American new^apeis 
were enterprising, but for fifteen years they had not 



l..„,„Anl,.GOOgIC 



THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 877 

been called upon to "<»ver" a war. The idea of sys- ; 
tematically reporting a struggle almost of continental 
proportions by plans devised and elaborated in the 
home office was not then thought of. The instant 
the conflict began the papers oi^anized upon the most 
extensive scale for the ooUectitHi of war news. The 
?^ew Yor k Hailip-t allotted large sums of money for 
the equipment and the maintenance of corps of corre- i 
spondents and led the country in the collection and i 
distribution of war news, although from time to time 
journals published in smaller places made handsome 
scores. In the East, Washington was the centre about 
which the correspondents revolved, and the competition 
was keen and sometimes bitter. Rivalry was not so 
sharp in the West, where at the beginning of hostilities 
the t^ef news-gathering stations were St. Louis. 
Cairo and Louisville. No city nf importAHfo was 
wt^out. at least ojiq. nswspsipex whiclL.niaintaiiied.ii 
corr espo ndent in the field, and various journals in 
Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati and St. 
Louis supported several. 

'Th e New Yqr k^Serald built up, as the war progressed, 
the'most complete organization in the land, although 
the Tribune and the TtTttea also conducted extensive 
and e^>ensive war establishments. All three at the 
outset were making it a point to anticipate the news. 
For weeks before the first shot was fired the Berald 
had men distributed at strategic places through the 
South, each taking the temperature of his own region. 
In sevraral instances it was by narrow margins that 
they escaped the clutches of the Confedaiates when 
the bombardment of Sumter began. The Richmond 
special barely eluded the mob which meant to hang 
him. At a cost of half a millifm of dollars — a pro- 



DigitzrrlbyGOOglC 



878 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

digious sum for those days — the HercM developed 
and supported its war department. Bef(»e many 
montha had passed there were Herald wagtxu and 
Herald tents with every army corps, and at every batUe 
of consequence throughout the four years Htcre was a 
Herald man talcing notes. Of the legion tA Herald 
coirespondents five were at one time prisoners in various 
parts of the South. Toward the raid of 1860 the 
Tribune b^an to keep a half-dozen men, usually two 
at a time, in and about Charleston. In 1862 that papa* 
had always from five to ei^t specials with the Army 
of the Potomac and no fewer than a dozen west ct 
the Alleghanies. The Times also established a corre- 
spondent in the South Carolina dty in anticipation of 
hostilities, insisting, however, that elaborate precau- 
ticms were unnecessary, and that an honest and candid 
reporter would be sale anywhere beyond Mason and 
Dixon's line, but when the fort in the harbor was as- 
sailed the Timet representative was suddenly arrested 
and put in jail, and upon his release he had great 
difficulty in mnlriyig hia way to Washington. 

Scarcely a half-score, perhaps only one, of the war 
reporters of the Sixties remained in the field through- 
out the poiod of conflict. They were hardy men, but 
their omstituticais broke down under the strain th^ 
were called upon to oidure. A service of a single year, 
however, would exceed in length the term of Forbes 
in the war of 1870, and Russdl's time in the Crimea, 
woiild only have carried him from Bull Run to 
Gettysbut^ in the war between the States. Few of 
the American correspondents thought of war reporting 
as a life occupation; they took the field for a campaign, 
not for a career. They cotdd find careers as war specials 
rally hy crossing the ocean. Geotj 



THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 379 

who scored heavily at Antietam, did go abroad and 
became the instructor of Europe in the modem art 
<^ war reporting. Many correspondents became 
Camous in other pursuits after the war was over, as 
Whitelaw Held, who wrote celebrated descriptions 
of Shiloh and Gettysburg, Edmund Clarence Stedman, 
who once scribbled his messages by the light of a 
candle stuck in a powder bottle, and Henry Villard, 
who made a desperate ride from Fredericksbui|;. 

A few of the specials were irresponsible youngsters 
in quest of adventure, and in this war, as in almost 
every othCT, there were some accredited correspondents 
and others without authority who traded upon the 
information they were able to secure and the fabri- 
caUons to which they managed to give some semblance 
of truth. But far the greater number were as loyal 
and serious in their work as were the soldiers who fought 
the battles the reporters described. The censorship 
at times was unreasonably severe, yet, when Secre- 
tary of the Navy Welles was complaining that there 
"seems to be no system, no arrangement, for prompt, 
constant and speedy intelligence," the correspondents 
were outstripping the couriers of the army and giving 
first news of great victories and great defeats to the 
government itself, as did Byington at Gettysburg, and 
Wing, the man Lincoln kissed, at the battle of the 
Wilderness. Samuel Wilkeson of the Timet wrote his 
stray of Gettysburg beside the body of his son of nine- 
teen, who was slain in the battle; Richardson and 
Browne of the Tribune and Colbum of the World were 
captured numing the blockade at Vicksburg, and their 
escape from the Salisbury prison and perilous journey 
north became one of the thrilling tales of the war; 
Osbon, as the signal officer of Farragut, ran the gaunt- 



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880 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

let at New Orleans; Cook, notebook in hand, sat aloH 
on Porter's flagship at the bombardment of Fort 
Fisher; Conynghain and Doyle marched with Shenoan 
to the sea; Anderson was kept in an iron dungeon 
in Texas, and, when released, with a bullet hole in his 
arm, watched and reported the battle of Spottsylvania; 
Knox was "out mit Sigel;" Charles Carleton Coffin — 
the "Carlefton" of the Boston Journal — had the dis- 
tinction of serving from the b^iuning to the very end 
of the stnigf^e, and this he could not have done save for 
his long visits home; Carson, while riding with Grant 
at ShUoh, was killed by a cannon-ball ; " Joe " McCuUagh 
used to print a daily paper along the line of march, and 
royally the soldiers welcomed the httle sheet published 
from the correspondent's wagon; George Forrester 
Williams was first a soldier and then a correspondent; 
and " Gath," the George Alfred Townsend who built the 
arch on South Mouiltaiu, was one of t^e pursuers of 
the assassin of Lincoln. 

In this chapter it is possible only to narrate in brief 
outline the careers of a few of the most able of the 
war correspondents whose names appear upon the 
South Mountain arch, and to describe several typical 
exploits which are comparable in daring and resource- 
fulness with the performances of the best of the Eiuo- 
pean specials who have made war correspondence their 
life work. As a representative of the war reporter at 
his best, the story of CharJ^ CMelton Coffin Jias been 
sdected as the first to be told, because he achieved 
a succession of "scoops," and, as has been stated 
above, was probably the only one who b^an at the 
bc^nning and continued imtiT the' end of the conflict. 

"Carleton" wrote precisely as the soldier fought, 
out of a sense of duty to his country. The recruiting 



n,g,t7„ib,.G00gIc 



THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 381 

officers refused to enlist him on account of a lame heel, 
so he went to Washington and sent letters at his own 
risk to the Boston Jour i^j. His account of the rout 
of Bull Run was so graphic and clear that he was 
engaged by that paper as a regular correspondent. 
Relu^g assistants and messengers, he became the 
Joumata bureau and staff in the field and he did the 
work of a corps of specials through the four years. 
His powers of toil were prodigious. Several times he 
was on the vei^e of starvation. Never reckless, he 
freely exposed himself when necessary in order to 
see the fighting; placing no trust in mere rumors, he 
once rode forty miles to probe a report which was 
important if true. His social qualities made him 
welcome everywhere and his simple honesty won him 
the confidence ot most of the commanding gemerals. 
He knew engineering and surveying and to bis topO' 
graphical skill was due some of the clearness of his 
descriptions. His tall figure and his equipment — 
cape overcoat, binoculars, watch, pocket compass and 
note books — were soon familiar to the men bothctf 
the West and the East. 

He scored first when Grant captured Forts Hemy 
and Donelson. The New York specials had been 
laughing a little at the "man from Boston." "Carle- 
ton" took the first boat to Cairo, expecting to write 
his despatch on board, but there were two hundred 
maimed men on the boat, and during the one hundred 
and eighty miles of the journey he carried water for 
them and held lanterns for the nurses and suigeons. 
Tlience he proceeded by train all the way to Chicago, 
writing in the cars, and from that city be sent a long 
account of what was the first great event of the war 
in the West, and his story was read by all New England 



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888 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

b^ore the New York papers received their "copy" 
from their specials. 

From the deck of a gunboat, "Carleton" witnessed 
the naval battle in front of Island No. 10. Coming 
East he watched the battle ci Antietam and sent off 
five dblumns to hia pap^. After another trip West, 
he saw the fighting at Fredericksburg. In April, 
186S, he wait South and from the steamer Naniatket 
he looked on while Forts Sumter and Moultrie "got 
such a hammmng as the world never knew befcne." 
Returning North, he found the Confederates had 
crossed the Potomac and that the whde nation was 
asking one question. Where is Lee? The reporter 
went on the trail, visiting Harrisburg, Washington 
and Baltimore, then Washington and Baltimore again, 
and then Frederick and Westminster, coming on the 
field of .Gettysburg m time to see the moat terrible 
struggle of the war. 

Nearly every episode at that historic conflict was 
observed by this now veteran correspondent. Several 
times he was under fire. On the third day of the battle 
he watched Pickett's famous charge, and as the southern 
commander retired he rode into the wheat field and 
made notes of the carnage whose tokens he found 
there. The battle over, it was his duty to get the 
news to Boston with the utmost speed. The army 
tel^raph could not be used, and the nearest railwiqr 
point was Westminster, twenty-eight miles away, 
whoice a freight train was due to leave in the early 
evening. Rain was falling heavily as he started from 
the fidd. Whitelaw Retd was his companion. Covered 
with mud and drenched to the skin, they rode into 
Westminister five minutes before train time, having 
made the distance under difficult conditions in two 



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THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 88S 

and a half hours. "Carleton" managed to have his 
horse cared for, spread his blanket over the boiler 
of the locomotive to dry, and stretched out on the 
floor <^ a bumping car. From Baltimore next morning 
he could get barely a hall-column through to the 
Journal, but he sent a despatch to Washington which j 
proved to be one of the first authentic messages re- I 
ceived by the President and the Cabinet The special 
took the first train for New York and thence hurried 
on to Boston, wiring ahead that the biggest story of 
the war thus far was on the way to the office. As he 
reached the Journal building he found Newspaper 
Row packed with people clamoring for hews. He 
was smuggled into the building and locked into a 
room, where he saw no one but the men handling his 
"copy" and wrote steadily until the paper went to 
press. As the last sheet was delivered he threw faim- 
sdf upon a pile of newspapers in a comer and instantly 
fell into the sleep of utter exhaustion. At his home 
in the suburbs of Boston during the one day whidi 
he allowed himself for rest the popiilar correspondent 
was cheered and serenaded by thousands, and he had 
to r^>eat his story of Gettysbui^ until he started back 
to Maryland and the trail of the army of Lee. In all, 
he traveled to make this score for his pap^ nearly a 
thousand miles, about one-sixth of which was done 
on horseback. 

Going West, be met G^ieral Grant again and was 
presented with a pass signed "U. S. G.," which was 
good in all mihtaiy departments with transportation 
on all military trains and steamers. As the Wilder- 
ness campaign came on Coffin realized that he would 
be cut off from the railway, the tel^raph, and even 
from communication by horse and boat. He sum* 



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S84 FAMOUS WAR COBBESPONDENTS 

moned his nephew, therefore, to act as assistant and 
messenger. Hie first to get out of that densely wooded 
part of Virginia with news was Wing, oa will presently 
be related, but the second was Edmund Carleton. 
The youngster left for Fredericksburg, mote than 
forty miles away, with orders to place the alleviation 
of the anxiety of the people of the Nortit before the 
life of his horse, but to make sure that his horse en- 
dured until he reached that point. He overtook the 
cavalrymen beariag messages fr«i$ Grant to Washing- 
ton but their horses wa« well fed and fat and he sptured 
away from them. Through the hottest day of the 
year he rode and reached the railway just as a train 
loaded with wounded men was getting under way. He 
volunteered as a nurse and managed to get aboard. 
The officers of the Sanitary Commission gave him his 
first real meal for many days. At Acquia Cre^ he 
took a small steamboat and the next morning was in 
the capital before the news bureaus were open. The 
operator took his telegram with reluctance, fearing 
that news not yet in the possession of the government 
must be false. The first mail out carried a great wad 
oi manuscript for the Journal, which was scoring once 
more through the enterprise (tf its correspondent. 

iThe tidings the young assistant brought were the first 
the President and Secretary Stanton had of the later 
movements of the Union commander. Getting back 
to the army was no easy matter; Stanton had ordered 
that no one shoidd leave for the front and refused to 
make an exception in this case, but young Carleton 
got a commission as a nurse from the Siugeon-Greneral, 
secreted himself on a steamer, marched three days 
with the Veteran Invalid Corps, and rejoined the 
troops as the movement toward Fetersbiu'g b^an. 



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THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 385 

He people of Boston chose "Carleton" to accom- 
pany th^ gift of food for the needy of Savannah. 
Thus takoi south he was in time for the flag raising 
over the re-captured Fort Sumter. Instantly he wrote 
hia paper: "The old flag waves over Sumter, Moultrie, 
and the city of Charleston. I can see its crimson stripes 
and fadeless stars waving in the warm sunlight of this 
glorious day."' How to get the message tbrouf^ was 
the puzzle. In a few minutes the vessels were to leave 
and other specials confided their despatches to the 
purser of the despatch boat. "Carleton" scouted 
about for the little time available, selected a strango* 
as his despatch bearer, ^^lained the importance of 
the mission, and instructed him thus: "When the 
vessel comes close to the New York wharf it probably 
will touch and then rebound before being made fast. 
Do you stand ready on the gunwale and when she 
toudies first* without waiting for the rebound, do you 
leap and run for your life to the telegraph office. 
Send this telegram, and then drop this letter in the 
post." The scheme worked. The purser kept his 
messages in bis pocket until his own duties were done. 
At first the telegraphers refused the Boston despatch, 
declaring it to be a plot to affect the price of gold. 
It created a sensation in Boston when bulletined by 
the Journal. Wired back to New York it was pro- 
nounced & canard, for was not the boat in from Charles- 
ton, and where were the other news messages if there 
was newsP Presently the news arrived. By way of 
Boston the President and the Cabinet learned of the 
happy issue of the southern voyage. Meantime in 
Charleston the correspondent was walking the deserted 
streets and collecting the materials for one of his best 
descriptive letters. 



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S86 FAMOUS WAB CORRESPONDENTS 

He was in Virfpiua again in time for the final events 
of the war. He reported the battle of Five Forics. 
On April 3, he was in Richmond, the capital of the 
Confederacy, and registered at the principal hotel as 
"the first guest from a foreign country, the United 
States." Vfhen President lincoln arrived "Carleton" 
was at the landing to meet him, and he helped to escort 
the Emancipator through the streets while the n^^oes 
came running to kiss his hand. Thomas Nast painted 
his picture of Lincoln in Richmond from the descrip- 
tions fiimished by the Boston special. "Carleton's" 
last letter was dated April 12, 1865. The next year 
he went to Europe expecting again to act as a war 
correspondent, but when he reached Liverpool Sadowa 
had been iou^t, and the short war between Austria 
and Prussia was over. "Carieton," who was bom 
in 1823, died thirteen days after the celebration of 
his golden wedding in 1898. 

Mention has been made of White law Reid aa the 
/ fellow rider of Charles Carleton (!Joltiu from Gettys- 
' bui^. The late ambassador to the Court of St. James 
had a career as a working journalist which was of the 
first importance in the development of the American 
newspaper, coming to the control of the A^gtg York 
Trjhwie_ after an apprenticeship as a country editor, 
a war special, a_ Washington correspondent m^H ipt 
editorial writer. 

Franc B. Wilkie, representing a Chicago paper 
and the Times cA New York, reached Cairo in April, 
1862, just in time to meet the only correspondent who 
saw the battle of Shiloh; he had arrived within the 
hour with the story of that two days' conflict. The 
Whitelaw Reid whom he met was "a tall, slender 
young man, with dark blue eyes and intellig^it. 



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n 



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THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAB 387 

handsome face." And he added: "His expression 
suggested an escape from some imminent and frightful 
danger. He was no coward, but there was a good 
deal of apparent awe on that face." The young news 
writer had struggled out of a sick bed to see the battle. 
His description filled ten columns of the .CirwirmaH 
Qmette and established his fame as a war correspondent 
of the first class. 

He had left his place as the Oazette's city editor 
to go into West Virginia at the outset of the w^, and 
his first letters over the signature "Agate" were de 
scriptive of that campaign. With intervals of leader 
writing at the home office, he was in the field with 
Rosecrans, and recorded the Tennessee campaign frf 
which Shiloh was the culmiaation. For a time he was 
in Washington, where he gained the confidence of 
many eminent men, among them Horace Greeley, 
who was impressed by his literary and executive 
abilities. At that period his connection with the 
frSoitu began. His greatest achievement soon fol-i- 
lowed, the covering of the battle of Gettysburg fori 
the Ohio paper and the New York daily, and his deJ 
scriptiou of tiie three days' fitting is generally regarded 
as one of the most graphic pieces of war reporting 
(Written largely upon the field of conflict, the emotion 
tof the writer was given expression in the passages of 
lervor and pathos which the reader of the columns <rf 
narrative will feel even today. 

The Richardson alluded to above was Albe rt D. 
Richardson, who called upon the managing editor oi 
' the New ~Tork Triimne several months before Sumter 
was fired upon and asked to be sent South. He was 
told that two correspondents had come home within 
two weeks after "close shaves," that the p^>er had 



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888 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

six men in the South and the editor would not be sur- 
prised at any hour to receive a wire with infomuition 
of the imprisonment or death of any one of them. 
But Richardson was made t^ stem stu£f; he visited 
Memphis, Jackson and New Orleans, sending his 
letters alternately to various bankers of New York 
to be forwarded to his paper. The letters were cast 
in ordinary business forms, but they conformed to a 
cipher system previously adopted. In Mobile the 
correspondent found his situation precarious and got 
out <^ the city by steamboat at once. A negro told 
him Fort Sumter had "gone up" and he steamed 
toward Montgomery with the calliope playing a very 
jubilant "Dixie." By way of Atlanta and Augusta 
he actually went on to Charleston, and looked at 
Fort Sumter with the South Carolina and Confederate 
flags flying over it, but it was dangerous to stay Iraig, 
and by a midnight train he proceeded to Wilmington, 
where he heard that Virginia had passed the ort^Jiance 
of secession. He dared not stop at Richmond, and 
hurried away on the last train that was permitted to 
go through without interruption, reaching Washington 
from Acquia Creek on the last steamboat that made 
a regular trip. 

At once he was sent by his pap^ to the seat of the 
war in the West. From the top of a high tree on the 
bank of the river between the gunboats and the forti- 
fications he saw the bombardment of Fort Henry; 
at Island No. 10, he took his stand on tke humcane 
deck of the flag-ship of Commodore Foote. The 
course of one eight-inch solid shot was so erratic that 
he described it in detail. The ball penetrated a half- 
inch of iron plating and a five-inch timber "as if they 
were paper," hit the deck and rebounded, striking the 



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THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 389 

roof of the turtle-like iron-dad, then "danced along 
the entire length of the boat, through the cabin, the 
wardroom, the machinery pantry, and at the very 
end fell and remained upon the commodore's writing 
desk." Splinters were blown into the beards and 
hair of several men but no one was hurt. Life upon the 
vessel was full of novel interest to the newspaper man. 
He occupied a little room within six feet of a tiiirty- 
two-pounder which was fired every fifteen minutes. 
Yet so monotonous did the concussions become that 
his aft^noon naps were not disturbed by them. He 
read, played chess, and made notes of the cannonading 
day after day and night after night. 

Richardson was at Cairo in May when the corps 
of correspondents were expelled from the army by 
General Halleck. The general was something of a 
martinet and was displeased by certain reports which 
someone had forwarded. He declared that as a pro- 
tective measure against possible spies he must expel 
all unauthorized hangers-on, and refused to accept 
any guarantees of prudence and loyalty. Whitelaw 
Reid, as chairman of the correspondents' committee, 
interviewed the general. Tlie press men were invited 
to remain by others who held commissions and who 
had the power to protect them, but they believed them- 
selves to be right and made a dignified departure from 
the military lines. Among the men who thus departed 
were some of the ablest and most scrupulous specials 
of the whole war. 

Again on the Mississippi in May of 186S, Richard- 
son, with Junius T. Browne, also of the Tribune, and 
Itichard T. Colbum of the New York World, decided 
to try to run the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg, 
by far the speediest way of reaching the headquarters 



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seo FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

of General Graot, fifty-five miles below the beleaguered 
city. Three of every four of the boats that tried 
nmning the gauntlet had been safely accomplishing 
the perilous passage. At ten one night two great 
barges of forage and provisions started down the 
Mississippi with a small tug boat between them; 
thus Grant for some time had been getting supplies. 
For three hours they glided silently down stream, th^i 
a rocket shot upwards in the blackness of a very dark 
night, and in a few minutes, in a stretch where the 
river was shaped like a gigantic letter S, the barges 
were under a terrific shell fire. The thirty-five men 
on board lay quietly under cover of their hay bales; 
they passed safdy below the town, and bad run almost 
the last of the five miles of batteries, when their captain 
was killed at the wheel and they were disabled. That 
unlucky shot had exploded the boiler of the tug, ripped 
open the furnace and scattered glowing coals over 
both barges, and the bales of dry hay burned like tinder. 
The tug dropped to the bottom of the river. Browne 
stood upon the very highest bale of one of the barges 
and stared ashore, with the flames outlining his face in 
sharp relief. Seeing the hopelessness of the situation, 
Richardson leaped into the river and a hay-bale was 
rolled off to him. The Confederate pickets on both 
sides of the river were alert and several small boats 
put out to pick up the swimmers, who were trying vainly 
to bide under the shadow of their bales of hay. When 
a yawl was within twenty feet of him, Richardson tore 
into small bits several compromising letters from the 
Tribune, the paper hated most bitterly by every friend 
of secession. Only sixteen (tf the thirty-five who 
started escaped unharmed. The three newspap^ 
men wrae amtHig the numbw. 



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THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAB 891 

Colbum was soon exchanged and returned to Vicks- 
biu^ in time to see tbe fall of the dty, but the Tribune 
men, who made no effort to conceal their identity, were 
aeait to labby Prison in Richmond, when after four 
months th^ were transferred to Castle Thunder, and 
finaUy in February, 1864, they were smt by the 
Southern Secretary of War to the Condederate Pen- 
itentiary at Salisbury, North Carolina, there to be 
held until the end of the war as hostages for tbe Southern 
citizens confined in the North. For eight months 
they fared comparatively well, but in October- ten 
thousand prisoners of war were crowded into Salisbury. 
The prison yard comprised four acres, and here, coatless, 
shoeless and shivering men burrowed in the earth, 
crept imder buildings or suffered without shelter of 
any kind. By appointment, William E. Davis, Browne 
and Richardson were placed in chai^ of the nine 
hospitals inside the garrison. At the end of November 
there was an insurrection, checked in three minutes 
with grape and canister. The prisoners became ex- 
pert in the "occult science of tunnding;" theyj would 
sink holes six or eight feet and strike c^ horizontally, 
lying on their faces and digging with case knives. So 
many were living in burrows in the yard that the whole 
four acres was covered with hillocks of excavated earth 
and the tunnel dirt could therefore easily be concealed, 
but th^ could not tunnel to liberty, f<Hr guards were 
stationed far outside the prison fence. 

Nevertheless, Richardson, Browne and Davis man- 
aged to escape. Bichardson went out as if on a hospital 
errand, a friend concealed him in a hay-mow for a day, 
his fellow correspondents joined him, and they were 
directed to a Union settlement fifty milefl away. 
N^roea aided them; the first dwdling entered by 



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392 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

Richardstm in twenty months was a slave cabin. 
On the second night's tramp he was so exhausted that 
he lay unconscious on the ground for an hour. Five 
days and nights they stayed in the friendly settlement 
in the spurs of the Alleghenies. Slowly they made 
their way to the north, wading streams waist deep 
unid fn^gments of floating ice, passing within two 
hundred yards of a Confederate camp, and guided at 
times by '*buflb»hacker8." The famous "Dan" Ellis» 
a Union guide, who had done nothing throu^ the 
whole war but conduct loyal men to the Union lines, 
aided them in the dangerous passage of the Blue 
lUdge. His life was that of a hero of romance, and 
of the four thousand men whom he piloted across the 
mountains he lost but one. He had a Uttle body of 
seventy men; single file they climbed the hills at night. 
Wh^i less than eighty miles from the Northern lines 
their guide found that a large party of Confederates 
was scouting in the vicinity. The fu^tives were 
divided into two companies; the footmen turned back; 
the horsemen went forweird in an attempt to ride 
through the very centre of the danger zone. 

"The Nameless Heroine" now became the guide. 
A young girl of less than twenty years, who had been 
bom and bred just there and knew every foot of the 
trails, came to the camp at midnight and took command. 
Quietly and carefully she rode ahead of her little oolumn» 
evading the Southern pickets and the Confederate 
farm houses, and circled the camp of the enemy. Aft^ 
seven miles, during which they had caught but glimpses 
of her and her horse on ahead, she left her convoy in 
a wood and rode acroM a long bridge to make inquiries, 
returning to report the coast dear. In the gray dawn 
she left them; every man uncovered as she passed 



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THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAK 893 

dovn the Hue and eveiy man longed to give the cheers 
which were known to be unsafe. After the war Bidi- 
ardson made her name known — Miss Melvina Stevens. 
On the twKity-seventh day his horse was dying. 
Fifteen miles from Knoxville he sighted the flag of the 
Union and stood silent with tears in his eyes, 
reverraitly to salute it On January 13, 1865, from 
KnoxviUe hesmt his telegram to the TnbuTte, "Out of 
the jaws of death; out of the mouth of hell." 

On a day in 1898, just before the outbreak of the 
war between the United States and Spain, Edmund 
Clarrace Stedman and Henry Villard_ met in a New 
York City street. The financier limped forward and 
said to the poet: " Look here, E. C, you and I must get 
into shape and put on the harness as war correspond- 
ents." Thirty-seven years before at Bull Run, 
Villard, who had climbed a tree to make observations 
of the progress of the fighting, dropped out of the 
branches at the feet of Stedman in a group in which 
were also a Harper's Weekly artist and a Tribune 
correspondent. At the beginning of the war Villard 
was with the New York Herald and Stedman with the 
World. Henry ^Tllard, who was bom in Bavaria, 
had reported the debates between Lincoln and Dou^^as 
and served as a reporter at Springfield, Illinois, the 
home city of the future President, for the Associated 
Press. 

Tlie day after lincoln issued his call for 75,000 
men. James Gordon Bennett commissioned Villard 
to cainy~a~i^ssi^^ to 'the "White House assuring- 
the President that the paper would in the future 
support every war measure, but to reach Washington 
required all the pluck and ingenuity of a very able 
correspondemt. Usually the journey in those d^s 



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394 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

could be accomplished in ten or twelve hours. There 
were five changes of cars, — the Hudson, the Susque- 
hanna and the Delaware had to be crossed by feny- 
boats, the street car ride through Philadelphia consumed 
an hour, and the slow passage through Baltimore was 
made in railway cars drawn by horses. Villard waited 
on the bank of the Susquehanna from three in the 
morning untU seven and then learned that during the 
night bridges and trestles between Havre de Grace 
and Baltimore had been burned. Trains thus were 
stopped by Southern sympathizers to prevent troops 
from the North reaching the national cf^ital. In a 
small boat the special was rowed to Havre de Grace* 
where be waited several hours and then started to 
walk to Baltimore. After six miles he managed to 
hire a bu^y for twenty-five dollars and thus to reach 
the ci^, when he learned how the Sixth Massachusetts 
Regiment had foujj^t its way through the streets on 
April 19. That night he was obliged to spend ia 
Baltimore, but the next morning, having deposited 
one hundred dollars as security for the return of a 
horse and arranged to pay five dollars a day and all 
expenses imtil the animal was again in his owner's 
hands, he started to ride the thirty miles to Washing- 
taa, where he arrived in the evening, and foimd the 
dty without tel^raph wires and mail service, isolated 
from the rest of the country. 

The young adventurer decided to become a war 
correspondent and began to study books on tactics 
and strat^y. Me w itnessed theiiatlJe-otBuILRuB and 
in connecUon with that first battle he began his record 
of " beats." At five in the morning he rode into the 
deserted streets of Washington, having thought out 
the outline of his story during his ride. In six hundred 



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THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 395 

wOTds he stated clearly and succinctly the facts, and 
then, after a few hours of sleep, he sent away a longer 
account. The earlier telegram furnished New York 
with its first tidings of the disaster and created a 
sensatum; multitudes of readers discredited the story 
of the rout of the Northern troops. As the cone- 
q>ondent wrote the longer article, relays of messenger 
boys ran with the sheets one at a time to place them 
on the wires. To the disgust of the writer, large excis- 
ions were made in the New York offices of the criticism 
which he had expressed of certain New York r^immts. 

Going West, Villard cultivated an agreeable ac- 
quaintance with Sherman, which was in itself an 
exploit, for that commaader regarded correspondents as 
a nuisance, and by paying liberally for them he managed 
to secure copies of Southern papers, from which, with his 
own comments, he made budgets of news that became 
a feature of the Herald. When Nashville was occupied 
Villard hurried to the office of the leading daily and 
secured three weeks of back numbers and they proved 
to be a mine of good " copy". The battle of Sluloh 
over, he went from commander to commander gathering 
details and then took a steamer for Cairo, writing his 
despatch on the way. After the battle of Perryville 
he went over the field and counted more than five 
hundred Confederate dead, sendlog his account to 
Louisville with a surgeon on an ambulance train. 

Vinard now came East to take the place which 
&nallejf_had left as chief correspondent of the TrUnau, 
with Washiogton as the centre for the transmission 
of the war news, and with assistants, horses and cam- 
paign equipments at his command. The battle of 
Fredericksbu^ afforded ^'"1 an opportunity which 
he promptly sdzed, leaving at three in the morning 



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see FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

for Acquia Creek upon a ride which he pronounced 
in his " Memoirs" the most terrible of his life. Hie 
ni^t was so dark that he could not see beyond his 
horse's head; nearly all the way he had to flounder 
through a " sea of mire " one and two feet deep. In 
places the logs of the corduroy road were loose, which 
made the ride doubly perilous. Four times he fell 
and once he was thrown into the morass; the instinct 
(^ the horse guided him most of the way. Readiing 
Acquia Creek at nine he learned that (general Bumside 
had managed to get orders through that no officer or 
soldier, no civilian, and especiaUy no press correspond- 
ent, should be permitted to go North without a spedal 
permit from headquarters! Also to his disgust, Charles 
Carieton Coffin soon turned up, and he had counted 
upon going through alone. In the end he defied the 
general and circumvented his rival. He induced 
two n^roes to row him to a steam freight-propeller 
and after a parley with the captain he managed to 
climb to the deck, when the oarsmen, according to 
previous orders, instantly pushed off, leaving their 
passenga on board. He made shift to show hb r^ular 
army pass and the captain did not know of the special 
orders of the morning. The boat was vexingly slow, 
but he wrote his story on the river, only to find when 
he arrived in Washington at eight in the evening that 
Secretary Stanton had ordered the censor to permit no 
news from Fredericksburg to go. Villard s^it his 
artide by special messenger on the night train. Even 
at that, the paper feared to take the responsibility of 
atmoundng a great defeat and suppressed many detaib. 
In the attack on Charleston the Tribune special 
was the only correspondent on board the flag ship of 
Admiral Dupont, and while the fighting above the 



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THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAE 8»7 

clouds was going on at Chattanooga, Mllard was with 
the little group of watchers, including the command- 
ing general and his sta£F, who listened, racked with 
anxiety, to the musketry volleys which told of the 
battle, the view of jR^hich was shut from them by the 
intervening mists, (jnvalided for a time, ViUard was 
in the field again with Grant in the Wilderness, and 
certainly was one of the first to reach the capital with 
authentic news of the fighting^ He then followed the 
si^e of Petersburg until the end of June, 1864. After 
a visit to Giermany he landed in Boston and heard 
all at once of the fall of Richmond, the surrender of 
Lee and the assassination of Lincoln. Like ^Smalle y 
and Coflfin, he started for Europe to cover the War 
of 1866, and found it all over when he reached Liverpool. 
Of the work done by this correspondent Admiral 
Bodgerssaid: "His personal gallantry and unhesitating 
devotion in the ex^dse of bis professional duty won | 
for him the respect and confidence of all." He had | 
started life in the United States as a poor boy, ignorant \ 
of English, and after the war he began a career which is \ 
yet almost unparalleled in the history of railroad finance. 
Edmu nd Clarence Stedman, known now to the 
world as ajpoet, years after the end of the war recalled 
in these terms the early days of his work for the press: 
"Recollections of my service with the army oi the 
Potomac as a reporter often seem like those of a play, 
a stirring romance, or a memorable dream. . . . But 
at times I am again a young and tight-hearted news- 
paper man, doubtless sufficiently light of head withal; 
a war corres^ndent^in_the Virginia campaign, longing 
to chronicle victories, too often forced to make the 
best of needless defeats; always eager to beat my able 
and frigidly rivals of the newspaper corps." 



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S08 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

Charles A. Dana, then cd the TrSnaie, had given 
him his first assignment, to cover the death and funeral 
of Washington Irving. On the evening of April IS, 
1801, the World had printed the poem " Sumter " wiacii 
he had written that monung. He was among the first 
to reach Washington and was th«« through the dark 
days following the Baltimore riot, **"t-bf Ifnirri V° 
standing as a. rqiacter by his account of Bull Run. 
He rode into Washington at two o'clock on the morning 
after the battle, with Uriah Painter of the PkHaddjAia 
Inquirer, and the foQoving day the latter's report 
speared in his paper. A day later there was printed 
in the World "a lo^cal, comprehensive and definitive 
story** upon which Stedman had worked all night 
on his way to New York and all day in the offices of 
the paper. During the battle itself Fainter had seen 
the young poet and correspondent ** waving the stand- 
ard of the Massachusetts Fifth and pleading with 
the men to raUy about him." Richard Grant White 
afterward congratulated Stedman as *'the man who 
restored a regiment their colors." 

For mtniths Stedman was in the saddle day after 
day scouting for news. On Octob^ 25, he rode forty 
miles investigating the Ball's Bluff disaster, the next 
day he covered the forty-six miles to the capital, 
and on the third day, with his head burning with fever 
and tied in towels, he wrote the six colunuis whidi are 
the only accurate and complete account of the cvaA. 
Although his regular connection with the Worli ended 
with the year, he later sp^it some time with McCldlan, 
and had one adv^iture which weQ illustrates his 
" light-heartedness." Edwin H. House, who after 
the war became an authority on Japan, years lata 
.referred to the incident in a gossippy letter to Stedman 



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THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR SOO 

in which he asked: "Do you remember when we sat 
writing by the light of a candle stuck in a broken bottle 
wUch was more than half full of powder?" 

(In the opinion of Henry Villard the best piece <A 
w<»^r^roduced by a war correspondent in the Civil 
War was the remarkable description of Antietam by 
George W. Smalle y. A letter from Wendell Phillips 
to Sydney Howard Gay, Dana's assistant upon the 
Tribune, procured for Small^ his first commission 
for that paper, ^'ile saw the c^ture of Fort Fulaski 
and spent some Thne with Fremont in the Shenadoah 
Valley. JjThen on a "tip" from a friendly ofBcer he 
rode out of Washington one aft^noon, equipped with 
a mackintosh and a tooth-bruish, expecting to be gone 
two days at the longest. He was out for six weeks 
and in that time witnessed the battles of South Moun- 
tain and Antietam. 

For most of two days Smalley watched the pictur- 
esque performance at South Mountain by the side of 
General McClellan. The afternoon before Antietam 
be joined "Fighting Joe" Hooker and rode with that 
general upon a reconnoitering expedition. That night 
he slept on the ground with his horse's bridle wound 
about his arm. In the morning as soon as the soldiers 
coidd see the u^ts of their rifles the battle b^an. 
Riding with Hooker on the firing line, Smalley bore 
several messages for him during the hardest of the 
fitting. To the colonel of a wavering regiment he 
carried an order to move his men to the front and keep 
them there. "Who are you?" asked the colonel. 
"The ord^ is General Hooker's," was the reply. 
" It must come to me from a staff officer or a brigade 
commander." "Very good," said Smalley. "I will 
report to (reneral Hooker that you decline to obe^/' 



DigiUnlbyGOOglC 



400 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

And the colonel ezdaimed: "Oh, for God'a sake, 
don't do that. I had rather face the Rebels than 
Hooker," and the raiment was moved forward. 
Just after the correspondent had called Hooker's 
attention to the fact that he was allowing himself 
to be a most conspicuous mark for the enemy and that 
their bullets were following him wherever he rode, 
the general was hit. Through the whole battle Smalley 
was under fire; twice his horse was hit, and twice his 
dotbing was cut by bullets. 

Exhausted as he was, the duty of getting the news 
to his paper now confronted him. For several hours 
he visited camp after camp and listened to the esecra- 
tions of the soldiers and conferred with his Tr3mne 
confreres. At nine he started for fVederick, thirty 
miles distant, commandeoing the horse oi a colleague. 
For six hours he was in the saddle and most of the 
time he slept, so utterly wearied was he. Not until 
sevcai in the morning was he able to find the telegraph 
operator in charge of this, the only available office. 
Argument was required to induce the telegrapher to 
try to get a short message through. Seated upon a 
log beside the door of the little building, SmaJley wrote 
his despatch, handing sheet after sheet to the operator, 
until a column, as he supposed, had been soit to New 
York; but that message was sent instead, upon the 
initiative of the tdegrapher, to Washingtcai, and, says 
Smalley, "sudi was the disorder then prevailing that 
it was the first news, or perhaps only the first coherent 
account of the battle, which reached there and the 
President." All that di.; the news was kqpt under 
cover at the capital, but that night it was released 
and wired on to New York in time for the Tnbtau of 
the next morning. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE AMEBICAN CIVIL WAR 401 

Smalley had depended upon getting a train £rom 
Frederick to Baltimore, but there was none, and, as 
he saw official after official, he could get no definite 
replies to his questions and pleas. A train might 
go at any instant and there might be no train at all. 
No special could go out without a military warrant. 
The War Department was wired to f<Mr a wairant, but 
no answer was received. At last the ahnost despn-ate j 
correspondent got away on a mixed train which brouf^t | 
him to Baltimore just ten minutes before the express I 
from Washington for New York came into the station. 
In those few minutes he had to decide whether to risk ' 
his story upon the wires or to go on himself to make 
sure that the paper got the complete narrative for which 
he supposed his short despatch from Frederick had 
pr^Mtred the editors. Just one curt question at the 
tel^aph office settled the matter. Not a promise <4 
any kind could he secure; all messages were accepted 
at the sender's risk and the chances of their getting 
through with any d^ree of celerity were scant. 

The indomitable reporter took the train. The cars 
were lighted by oil lamps, hung near the ceiling and 
dimly burning, one at each end of the coa«^es, but at 
nine that evening, by the flickering light ol a single 
lamp, Smalley began to write with pencil ** the remark- 
able description" which Henry Vlllard praised. The 
message was flnished by the cold light of the new day 
as the train rolled into Jersey City, and, writes Small^, 
'* The office knew the despatch was coming, compositors 
were waiting, and at six the worst piece of manuscript 
the oldest of them had ever seen was put into thdr 
hands. And somewhcie near the breakfast hour the 
Tribune issued an extra with six columns about Antie- 
tam." By the night train he started back to Washing- 



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402 FAMOUS WAB CORRESPONDENTS 

ton, but he had " been sleeping on Virginia aoil, think- 
ing himself lucky if he could borrow two rails from a 
fence to sleep between," and he was soon invalided 
home with camp fever. 

After some months of editorial writing and while 
the whole country was plunged in gloom because of 
ChancellorsviUe, Smalley was sent to the Army of the 
Potomac on a mission of inquiry for the Tribune. 
Lincoln and all the North were looking for a command- 
ing officer and public opinion was divided greatly. 
The special went from general to general and from 
corps to corps, and talked with men of all ranks and 
of no rank, telling them all that the results of his 
inquiry would appear in his paper, but the story was 
never published. The anny, rightly or wron^y, had 
lost faith in Hooker. The man most often named 
was Meade, and when he interviewed that general, 
Smalley found him "a model of military discretion." 
It was decided that the truth would harm the cause 
and therefore the article was suppressed, but Smalley 
regarded Gettysburg as the vindication of his judgment 
and the sagacity of his friends. 

( One of the greatest news achievements of the war 
was that of B. S. Osbon wh ose story of the operations 
of Farragut at New Orleans filled three solid pages 
of the Herald and whose sketches of the running of 
the batteries covered three pages of Harper's Weekly. 
Osbon, whose name oft^i was misspelled as Osbom, 
bad had a life at sea as full of adventures as a novel. 
At the founding of the World he was the first reporter 
engaged; Frederick Hudson, the managing editor, 
employed him to cover marine news. On the second 
attempt to relieve Fort Sumter. Osbon went on the 
little revenue cutter Harriet Lane as cl^k and signal 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 408 

officer, the only newspaper man in the fleet. .He 
heard the first shot of the great war and witnessed 
the bombardment and capitulation of the fort. From 
the lips of Major Anderson himself he wrote the account 
of that historic event, and came North with a " beat " 
for his paper, to £nd the city and the nation ablaze 
with excitement. A crowd forced its way into the 
World office and compelled Osbon to mount a counter 
and relate the story of Sjjmter. '' He was a hero if 
for no other reason than that he haa seen the bombard- 
mexitS Frederick Hudson became managing editor 
of me Hertdd and Osbon joined his sta£F. The Secre- 
tary of the Navy gave him a kind of roving commis- 
sion to "accompany naval expeditions in any staff 
capacity to which the commanders might appoint 
him provided they did not interfere with the regulations 
of the Navy." On the expedition to Port Royal a shell 
ruined his luxuriant whiskers. Again he brought the 
Hercdd a " scoop " and supplied Harper's with sketches. 
Admiral Farragut appointed Osbon signal officer, 
and in that position he made every signal that con- 
trolled the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron. This 
was a great advantage to the correspondent, for it 
brought him into close touch with the flag officer and 
gave him complete information of every movement 
of the vessels. Running the gauntlet to New Orleans 
meant the passing of two strong forts moimting two 
hundred guns, a chain barrier in which a narrow opening 
had been cleared, a dozen Confederate gunboats, a 
ram or two, some old hulks and countless fire rafts; 
and the very swift opposing current had also to be 
considered. On the night selected the ships took their 
designated anchorages without noise or display. Pre- 
cisely at one in the morning all hands were called. 



ogle 



404 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

Says Osbon: "It was a solemn time. On the strfdce 
cd two with my own hands I hoisted to the mizzen 
peak a pair of red lanterns, which was the signal to 
get imder way. The first ship was just at the chain 
when a blaze of light and a roar from the fort told 
we had been discovered." Amid the screaming of 
shot and shell the vessels forced th^ way through 
the opening, and Osbon hoisted "the largest Star 
Spangled Banner at the peak and decked the fore and 
main masts in the same way." In a few minutes, 
with "death and destruction everywhere," the men's 
faces covered with powder-black and daubed with 
blood, oflScers and all " looked like a lot of demons 
in a wild inferno." The night was black and the smoke 
blinding. Cut ropes were swinging and splinters 
flying. "The only thing we sawclearly," says Osbon, 
" was the flash of guns in our faces and the havoc on 
our own ship." 

Farragut bad climbed to a point high in the mizzen 
rigging where he coidd watch above the smoke. " With 
his feet on the ratlines and his back against the shrouds, 
he stood there as cool and undisturbed as if leaning 
against a mantel in his own home." Several times 
Osbon carried orders for him. As the signal officer 
saw shot nearing the commander, he begged him to 
come down, and presently he did descend. Barely 
had he left the place wh«i a shell exploded in tbe 
rigging and cut awiqr the ratlines on which he had 
been standing. Years aitesr in Paris Mrs. Farragut 
showed Osbon much attrition and declared he had 
saved the life of bee husband. 

Osbon had a watch lashed to his sleeve and the 
notebook in which he kept his records as derk for the 
flag officer and as corre^xmdent for the Herald. At 



n,g,t7rrlb,.GOOgIC 



THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 405 

exactly 4.15, with Fort St. Philip on one hand and a 
big fire raft on the other, while h^ batteries were 
pounding away at the fortifications, the ship went 
aground. In that instant of crisis a iBm shoved a 
raft under the port quarter and the vessel took fire. 
The next mom^it a shell exploded on the berth deck 
and another fire started. Only desperate measures 
could save the ship. And Osbon was the man for the 
em^gency, as witness the story told by M. F. Tobin 
in his book on Admiral Dewey, and re-told by Osbon 
himself, the story of " Gabon's prayer." Says Tobin: 

"The late Admiral Bc^gs used to del^t in relating a 
story told him by Farragut, called 'Osbon's prayer.* Far- 
ragut, seeing an officer kneeling by the poop-deck shear 
caBed out: 'Come, m, this is no time for prayer.' The 
officer addressed was B. S. Osbon, Farragut'a signal derk, 
who, seeing the great peril the ship was in, put an overcoat 
that lay in the ngnal locker over his head to prevent the 
flames from burning him, and rolled three twenty-pomid 
rifle shells up under the curling flames, deftly uncapped 
them, and just as Farragut chided him, threw them over the 
side into the fire-raft, and in five seconds they hod exploded, 
tearing out the ndea of the raft. After the explosion of the 
shdls watCT rushed into the raft and she sank." 

The kneeling Osbon thus destroyed the scow and 
scared away a small ironclad creeping toward them. 
The hose was got out and the flames were extinguished 
and then the engineers got the ship off the bottom. 
It had be^i a *' close call." All the ships but three 
passed the forts. At five they anchored. Osbon made 
the signal to report casualties and Farragut stood by 
and watched the figures as he noted them. As they 
went on to the city they met steamers laden with 
blazing cotton drifting down the river. 

Despatches for Washington were sent by Farragut 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



406 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

on the amall Cayitga and Osbon was p^nutted to sail 
aboard her. As the despatch boat left the flagship, 
the sailors manned the rigging of the Hartford and gave 
the newspaper man and signal officer three resounding 
cheers, and as she went down stream every ship was 
thiis manned and again and again this «>mpliment 
was paid the correspondent. The Cayuga found 
Lincoln and Secretary Stanton off Fortress Monroe 
and the President listened to the details of the capture 
of the Southern metropolis. He sent them on to 
Baltimore on the mail boat, and the day aft^ his 
arrival there Osbon was in New York. Short des- 
patches had contained aU the facts the North knew 
about the e^loit of Fanragut. The long account 
written by Osbon was the only story written by a 
man who had actually made the passage up the 
Mississippi. 

^The correspondent who was kissed by Pl^d^nt 
Lincoln was HegjQ JL^Wiug. for many years a Metho- 
dist clergyman and now living in South Norwallc, 
Connecticut, who has told the story in a booklet 
recently published. Such manifestations of emotion 
are recorded so infrequently of the war President 
that this was almost a unique incident. Coofirmatory 
evidence is supplied in the "Diary of Gideon Welles," 
the Secretary of the Navy. For almost a week the 
country had been without news from Grant, who had 
begun his Wilderness campaign with the deliberate 
intention that for a few days his communications with 
Washington should be severed. The country was on 
tiptoe with excitement; what had become of the 100,000 
men who had disappeared so dramatically? After 
the first day's fighting the Tr^ne correspondents 
met in conferraice, and young Wing was chosen tor 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 407 

the difficult venture of taking out the news. Grant 
himself entrusted the reporter with a message for the 
President, — " Tell him from me that, whatever 
happens, there will be no turning back." 

At dawn Wing started. His correspondent's outfit 
was exchanged for a " Butternut " suit and " brogans;" 
every scrap of memoranda was left behind. Mosby's 
men got from him " the good news of a victory for 
the South." Two of Mosby's guerillas escorted the 
disguised correspondent through the woods. His 
gallant horse carried him across a river amid a volley 
of shots; the horse was left in a covert in the woods 
with an abundance of oats and a promise to return — 
a promise which was faithfully kept. Pursuers passed 
him, — but they were looking for a mounted man, 
not a pedestrian. For miles he tramped the railroad 
ties. At Manassas Junction he was detained several 
hours in a Confederate cavalry camp, sneaking away 
at dusk and hustling down the track six miles to Bull 
Run, where he entered the Union lines. No other 
reporter had come through, but the nearest public 
telegraph station was twenty miles away, and that 
distance had to be covered in three hours if the " scoop " 
was to reach New York, for the office closed at midnight. 
For a horse and guide one thousand dollars was offered, 
and for a hand car and a man to help run it five hun- 
dred dollars. The band cars belonged to the govern- 
ment, as did the miUtary telegraph, and as a final resort 
Wing sent a " feeler " over that official wire, to his friend 
Charles A. Dana, then Assistant Secretary of War. 
Back came the curt query, "Where is Grant?" Tlien 
Wing knew that not even Washington had tidings from 
the army. He undertook negotiations. Let him send 
cme hundred words to the Tribune and he would tell the 



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408 FAMOUS WAK CORRESPONDENTS 

Department all he knew. Threats of arrest sizzled otct 
the wire from Secretary Stanton, but the President came 
in and at once accepted the terms, and " standing by 
the operator at Union Mills '* Wing " dictated the half- 
column despatch which appeared in the Tribune on 
the morning of Saturday, May 7, 1864." A locomotive 
was sent out from Washington, and at two in the 
morning Wing reached the White House. EGa appear- 
ance was very disreputable, but his voice identified 
him to Secretary Welles. For a half-hour with a map 
before them he described the movem^its of the troops. 
At length alone with Lincoln, he repeated the perscHui] 
message from Grant. There had been so many turnings 
back, but Grant assured his chief that this was indeed 
to be a final movement on Richmond. Uncoln was 
carried away with joy for that message, and he kissed 
the young correapondoxt on the forehead. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



CHAPTEBXV 

REPOETING THE SPANISH-AMERICAN 
^ WAR 

" Aaonr country, unlike En^mLiB not oonstantlreDgiiged in milituy 
opcntiona. onW » tvw of the men who kcted •■ cwreqiondenta durinc 
the mr with nwin mot to the front with U17 [wevioua experience m 
the kind of woA before them. But they had been trained in « achool of 
Jounudifm iriudi tetche* eelf-relianee and, above all other thing*, readt- 



— ., _ _„ . ._ __ ._.. _ , — jlofed in 

reporting a hone show or a fire, they sncceedM In latiabctmilr deaeribing 
the <qMntksis of our army." 

— Ridiard Harding Daait. ^ 

The United States battleship Maine was blown up 
in the harbor of Havana on February 15, 1898, at 
forty minutes after nine in the evening. Captain 
Charles Dwight Sigsbee wrote and re-wrote his report 
cA the disaster with the groans of hurt men in hb ears, 
and delivered the message to George Bronaon Rae, 
war correspondent, who carried the despatch ashore 
and put it on the cable. Before three in the morning 
the reports of the various Havana correspondents 
had reached the offices of the New York dailies, and 
at dayhght on February 16, in every city of the United 
States shrill-voiced newsboys were crying the tidings 
in the streets. The whole country knew that war 
was probably inevitable, but for the newspapers the 
war b^an when the managing editors and publishers 
learned of the explosion that destroyed the Maine. 

The JVet0 York World began operations within an 
hour ctf the coming of the news. The wires to Key 
West were kept warm, the paper's representatives 
dragged divers out of their beds and chartered a tug, 
and before noon the boat steamed out of the harbor 



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410 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

with three divers and their paraphernalia on board. 
At the same hour the Havana correspondent received 
cabled instructions to use the divers to "get the actual 
truth, whether favorable or unfavorable," as to the 
destruction of the battleship, but the investigation 
was not permitted and the paper bad to pay extra 
bills to the amount of one thousand dollars for that 
effort to get the news. 

While for many scores of newspapers the duty oi 
covering operations in Cuba began with the Havana 
explosion, there were several ef the most enterprising 
dailies which lor months before had been employing 
men to communicate, at the risk of their lives, with the 
insui^ents in the interior of the island. George 
Bronson Rae of the New York Herald spent three-quar- 
ters of a year with Maceo and Gomez and witnessed 
eighty fights, in two of which he was wounded. He 
made it his duty not only to learn the facts as to the 
tales of famine, atrocities and battles which were 
appearing in print, but to expose the "factories lot 
the faking of war news" which were supported in 
Florida and "presided ovfx by Cuban Munchausens." 
Major Grover Flint took like risks for the New York 
Journal. Sylvester Scovel, the representative of the 
World, was the best known and most bitterly hated 
American in Cuba; for a time a reward of ten thousand 
dollars was on his head, and after having eluded the 
Spaniards frequently he at last was takra. The United 
States Senate demanded his release and he was set 
at liberty after an imprisonment of a few weeks. 
Had he been captured diving the war he probably 
would have been executed. For weeks and months 
also the city of Havana swarmed with American news 
gatherers: they strolled about and loitered in the caf^s* 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR 411 

apparently with little to do, but their ears were alert 
all the while. Occasionally one would drop out of 
sight for a night and a day, which would mean that 
some insurgent agent had reached town with news 
^m the camps beyond the city. 

Of the work done by these three, Scovel, Rae and 
Flint, Richard Harding Davis has written in terms of 
enthusiastic admiration: 

"Thqr are taking chances that no war correspondent 
ever took in any war in any part of the world. For this 
is not a war — it is a state of lawless butcheiy, and the 
rights of correspondents, of soldiers and of non-combatants 
are not recognized. Archibald Forbes and 'Bull -Run' 
Russell and Frederic Villiers had great continental armies 
to protect tliem; these men work alone with a continental 
army agunst them. They lisk capture at sea and death 
by the guns of a Spanish cruiser, and, escaping that, th^ 
face when they reach the island tlie greater danger of capture 
there and of being cut down by a guerilla force and left 
to die in a toad, or of being put in a prison and 
left to die of fever. ... ', 

"The reckless bravoy aild the unselfishness of the 
correspondents in the field in Cuba-today are beyond parallel 
It is as dangerous to seek for Gomez as Stanley found it to 
seek for Livingstone, and as few men return from tke in- 
suigent camps as from the Arctic regions. In case you do 
not read a New York paper, it is well that you should know 
that the names of these correspondents are Grover Flint, 
Sylvester Scovd and Cleorge Branson Rae. I repeat that, 
as I could not reach the field, I can write thus freely of those 
who have been more successful." 

From the time of the Maine's destruction through 
the period of the American and the Spanish investiga- 
tions of the wreck and until war was actually declared, 
every r^Kirter and every photographer and every 
artist in every newspaper office in every city and in 
every town in the United States b^an to plot and 



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412 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

plan and plead to be sent to the franl. Every man 
discovered in himself some special qualifications tor 
the work of a war correspondent. Several thousands 
of p^sons who expected to go to Cuba in some civilian 
C(q)acity and other thousands of men who eq>ected 
to be called out as soldiers dropped in to tell the manag- 
ing editors that they could be induced to aid also 
in reporting the war. The copy boys, the messenger 
boys and the printer's devils "up-stairs" all announced 
that they could squirm through picket lines and fetch 
messages in from that alluring and mysterious place 
called "the front" and that no scouts could catch 
them. Newspaper work became decidedly pt^ular. 
And, in very truth, some of these tyros went to the 
front and made good- 
Past experience counted for very little once the 
paper's men were at the seat of actual war. Success 
seemed to be a question of intelligence and of chwacter. 
Mea were rushed out of dty rooms because they wore 
believed to have gumption, they were set down in 
Cuba in blissful ignorance of the difference betweoi a 
cartridge and a caramel, and they kept pace with the 
firing line cheerfully and tramped through the jungle 
with news for the despatch boats quite as if they were 
on ordinary dty assignments. Many a newspaper 
woman shed bitter tears because she was not chosen 
for duty in Cuba, and one or two women did manage 
to go to the war. The papers ent^^d upon a scramble 
for the capture of the writers of reputation whose 
names might count for mudi as spedal correspondenta 
with the umies, and whose descriptions of battles 
and charges might be expected to read with the fas- 
cination which had made their stories best sellen. 
Rudyard Kipling was bombarded with cabl^rams. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR 413 

Four scores of editors wired for his services; a few with 
unlimited resources asked him to name his own price. 

Expenses moimted slgrward. The papers planned 
to cover the whole field of action from the Philippines 
to Forto Rico, to put the right men at the right strategic 
places, to secure in advance cable facilities and despatch 
boats, to deal intelligently with the mass of news 
that would come into the home offices, and to provide 
for the enormous increase of press nm and of circulation 
which they felt their enterprise ought to bring them. 
A special desk of copy readera of war news was organized 
by many papers, and they handled all the war messages, 
scHting, comparing, editing and allotting their space 
to all the despatches which came over the wires. 
Special trains were chartered to carry extras to distant 
cities, and in Buffalo, New York evening papers were 
sold by thousands from the time the theatres closed 
until the restaurants emptied after midnight, while 
every remote hamlet consumed a few of the dailies 
from the half-dozen great cities. The men who 
whipped copy into shape and made headlines rejoiced 
over one thing that brought them to the point of 
imprecation many times when handling news of Pres- 
ident Roosevelt and other public men with long names 
— the word most often used, "War,** had but three 
lettns and could be fitted into any headline. 

Immediately after that fateful February di^ in 
Havana the censorship became severe. With the 
censorship came the despatch boats, and these fast 
little vessels rapidly increased the cost of covering the 
war that was not far ahead. Before the actual dec- 
laration these vessels made merely a trip a day across 
the Florida Straits and their cargo was only a little 
packet ot manuscrq>t. As war came near and the 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



414 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

blockade extended its lines several papers secured two, 
three, five, a fleet of swift despatch boats. After the 
press men were ordered away from Haveina and the 
blockade was begun the work of the news boats became 
most exacting. Tlie line of blockade stretched one 
hundred fmd tw^ity miles. The boats had to speak 
every ship in the line once each day. Patrols would 
start at each end of the blockading fleet and meet at 
the middle, when one would take the news and sketches 
both had secured and start for Key West. The corre- 
spondents would work as hard at their long table in 
the cabin as ever they would have done at a copy desk 
in the home office. On dark nights they (rften were 
chaJlenged by ships of the blockading fleet. In the 
main the relations between the warships and the press 
boats were amiable, and news was m^aphoned in 
exchange for the gossip the reporters might have 
collected down the line. 

Ray Stannard Baker, writing at the time of hostili- 
ties, says: "Owing to the threatened hazards of war, 
ship owners exacted from five thousand dollars to nine 
thousand dollars a month for the use of each of these 
boats, and the newspapers were required to bear the 
additional expense of fire, marine, accident and war 
insurance, which the alarmed underwriters of New 
York had fixed at the enormous rate of eight per 
cent a month — equal in a year to nearly the total 
value of the boat. One New York paper pays twenty- 
two hundred dollars a month insurance on a single tug 
— and it has five boats in service in different parts 
of the world." In addition, of course, the publishers 
had to pay the cost of coaling the ships and the salaries 
of their correspondents, besides ordinary supplies. 
One managing editor showed a friend his salary list 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR 416 

for war reporters and it amounted to more than four- 
teen hundred dollars a week. 

To the cost of despatch boats and the salaries of 
men there must be added the cable tolls, and these 
often were enormous. The cable rate from Key West 
to New York was five cents a word for press despatches, 
but the necessity of protecting all points where news 
might be had or to which news might be carried for 
trfmsmission vastly increased these costs. It was 
necessary to garrison the non-Spanish ports whence - 
cablegrams might be sent. Thus St. Thomas, nearest 
to Forto Rico, and the Haytian ports came to be occu- 
pied by press men. The cable rates from these points 
were from fifty cents a word upward, and when a 
paper found it necessary to cable information to its 
correspondents at West Indian ports, the rate on these 
messages, which were not entitled to news rates for 
publication, was between two and three dollars a word. 

Places more distant far, however, also caxae into 
the reckoning. Madrid had to be considered. The 
censorship hindered the sending of really importaot 
news even to London and Paris papers. A courier 
^stem was devised, by which special runners took 
messages over the six hours of railway from Madrid 
across the French boundary at Biarritz or Bayonne, 
whoice the use of the cable might be had without the 
censor's excisions emasculating the despatches. These 
couriers did their work at considerable personal risk, 
and the total cost to some American daili^, cable tolls 
included, was two thousand dollars a week. At some 
cross roads stations of the seas the papers had no special 
r^Ktrters, as the Canary Islands and Martinique, but 
at all such places there is always some authorized 
person representing if not a paper a news bureau, 



DigiUnlbyGOOglC 



4ie FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

and to whatever futy he may report, his news will find 
ita way acrosa oceans and continents to New York 
in a short time. So it was that the New York papers 
learned that the Spanish fleet was at the Cape Verde 
Islands. The message cost eighty-six cents a word. 
Farther still was Manila, so far that not even the most 
aggressive American paper coiild get a special to 
Hcmg Kong or the Philippinea directly from home in 
time for the battle. For days, when it was seen that 
a naval action at Manila was imminent, the cable 
was heavy with American newspaper messages <xi 
which the toll was one dollar and sixty cents a word. 

The first great event of the campaign was the victory 
of Admiral Dewey in Manila Bay. In his facial 
report the commander of the American fleet says: 
"Mr. J. L. Stickney, formerly an oflBcer in the United 
States Navy, and now correspondent for the New York 
Sercdd, volunteered for duty as my aide and rendered 
valuable services." This correspondent, who had 
been graduated from the Naval Academy in 1868, 
and in the Russo-Turkish war of 1877 had represented 
the Ckieago Tribune, was in Japan following the move- 
ments of the British, Russian and Japanese fleets. 
On April 0, 1898, he cabled from Tokio to Dewey for 
pemiission to go with the squadron to the Philippines* 
agreeing so long as he might be on board to send out 
no news without Dewey's approval, and citing the 
already-secured pennissicm of the Secretary of the 
Navy. The reply was favorable; Stickney hastened 
to Hong Kong. When he had last seen the ships at 
Yokohama they bad been white and brilliant; now 
they vere grim and gray, the war color. 

On the forward bridge c^ the flagship Olymjna a 
few minutes before six on the mmming of May D^, 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR 417 

Stic^ey heard Dewey speak the words which opened 
the battle, the well remembered "You may fire when 
ready, Gridley." To his petition for a place on the 
bridge the commander had made no definite reply 
tmtil the day before the action, when he named him 
as aide and asked him quizzically, "Are you satisfied?" 
Thus the reporter bad as good a view of the victory 
as the admiral himself. On May B, a despat«^ boat 
was sent to Hong Kong, aboard which was Stickn^ 
with long cablegrams for his paper. 

The exact number of American newspaper men 
who saw service at the front in this short war cannot 
be stated. One authority puts the number at one 
hundred and thirty; another at one hundred and sixty- 
five, and a third sets the mark at two less than two 
hundred. Their numbers exceeded certainly the wild- 
est dreams of the War Department. At Tampa during 
the "rocking chair period" writers and artists of ev^y 
description loitered about the verandahs of the hotel. 
Dailies, weeklies and monthlies had their representa- 
tives, and some rather absurd claims were pressed, 
as when a correspondent undertook to go with the 
expedition as the special for an agricultural paper. 
General Shafter had first and last to deal with nearly 
a hundred writers and picture makers. But there 
were many m^i of the first class nevertheless in the 
newspaper corps. 

When the war was nearly over a company of press 
men in Porto Rico listed the events which they judged 
to hare the geratest news value for the whole campaign 
and credited the correspondents with the events which 
they respectively had witnessed. Stephen Crane led 
them all. He lived in the war a real "Red Badge 
df Courage." Richard Harding Davis pronounces 



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418 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

him *:'the coolest man, whether army officer or ciTiUan," 
whom he "saw under fire at any time during the 
war." Leonard Wood, who then was colond of the 
Rougb Riders, twice ordered Crane to drop on his 
(ace when bullets were thickly flying about, and the 
novelist pretended not to hear, but a bit of sarcasm 
from Davis had the desired effect. 

Stephen Crane first went out on a despatch boat 
from Key West with three other press men, when, 
he wrote* "the war was not a gory giant, but a bunch 
of bananas swung in the middle of the cabin." On a 
pitch black night they were almost rammed by the 
Maehiaa. The Three Fnenda landed them near Guan~ 
tanamo Bay, where various curious experiences befell 
the writer, some of them diverting, as when one after- 
noon a lot of men were bathing and in the midst of 
their water froUc firing was resumed. They scampered 
out of the water, grabbed their guns and went into 
action dressed in their cartridge belts and nothing 
more. Crane carried despatches like any other reporter 
to the cable station at Fort Antonio, Jamaica. With 
a colleague he planned to make a landing somewhere 
west of Santiago, creep through the Spanish lines, 
and obtain a view of the Spanish fieet lying in the 
harbor. Rumor said the Viacaya had esaqied and 
it would be a neat thing to make sure. They steamed 
to a point opposite a little Cuban camp, threw two 
little Jamaican polo ponies into the water, climbed 
into a little row boat and made for the shore. Some 
insurgents met them, caught their ponies, and gave 
them an escort of six men into the hills. Hie camp 
was a thing of saplings and palm bark tied with creepos. 
To get up the "trails" the Americans had to lie flat 
on their diminutive ponies, while their escort scampered 



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D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR 419 

in and out "like rats." At dawn they left th^ 
mounts with their Cuban friends and sneaked through 
the Spanish lines and up a great hill which commanded 
a view of the harbor of Santiago. There tranquilly 
at anchor lay the fleet. "The bay was white in the 
sun, and the great black-huUed armored cruisers were 
impressive in a dignity massive yet graceful." Crane 
looked at them and his comrade made sketches and 
maps; they two were "the last Americans to view the 
ships alive and imhurt and at peace." Once back 
on their boat they steamed to the flagship, where they 
had an interview with Admiral Sampson and related 
what tiiey bad seen. Crane had a place on San Juan 
Hill when Richmond Pearson Hobson and his men 
were exchanged and brought within the American 
lines. He saw something "solemn, funereal, in the 
splendid sil«it welcome of a brave man by men who 
stood on a hill which they had earned out of blood 
and death." That was the real welcome rather than 
the applause which later was vented. The novelist 
caught a fever at length, and, in spite of what Scovel 
and Rae tried to do for him, he was obliged to return 
home. No one wrote of the war quite as did Stephen 
Crane. His story of the regular bleeding to death in 
the Cuban hills, and his tale of the marine at Guan- 
tanamo, with bullets splashing the sand about him, 
cotmting the flag signals, are pieces of literature. As 
one reads them he should recall that what they dared 
Crane also faced. He sat at the feet of the signal 
man and watched his lips move as he counted, but 
with the writer that was not courage; it was just a part 
of the day's work of a special correspondent in war 
time. 

John Fox was another novelist who proved himself 



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480 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

as a war reporter ia Cuba. Frank Norria, whose 
"TTie Pit" aod "The Octopus" gave him a hearing 
and iame throughout the world, was one of two corre- 
spondents who fliCtuaUy witnessed the surrender of 
Santiago to General Shafter by General Toral. Stephen 
Bonsai was another whose chief interest was not in 
accurate descriptions of military strategies, but in 
the picturesque and dramatic incidents of the cam- 
paign. He saw the soldiers scrambling about Hobson 
as he came back to his own camp after his capture and 
imprisonment, and records that "suddenly he turned 
very white, he was deeply affected. It was apparent 
that he had not the faintest conception of the idolatry 
with which his exploit is r^arded." He tells of the 
"tall, slightly buUt woman standing before a great 
black pot suspoided on a crane, seemingly quite inured 
to or obhvious of the thick smoke" — Clara Barton 
of the Red Cross. That the Rough Riders sang "Fair 
Harvard" in the rifle pits with the enemy within easy 
ear-shot was of as much importance to him as the 
evolutions of the ships commanded by Admiral Samp- 
son. For the purposes of such a writer there is news 
interest in the fact that he did his own washing, spread 
his three handkerchiefs and his single pair of socks 
on a rock to dry, stretched out on the moss to sleep, 
and awoke to find his washing gone! Surely both 
the military and naval historian and the writer of 
"human interest stuff" are necessary if a war is ever 
to be described in all its phases and if its enUre signifi- 
cance is to be understood. 

By no means all the men who were in the ranks in 
this war can be mentioned here. Many were not 
able to write a thrilling paragraph, but they were 
trained reporters who understood the value of absolute 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR 481 

accuracy. It was theirs to race to the wh-es with 
exact accounts of skinnishes and battles in which every 
regiment and company should be correctly designated 
and the name of every man killed or wounded spelled 
without error. But of the outstanding personalitiea 
there must be mentioned Frank Millet, — the lamented 
artist who was lost with the Titanic, and who had been 
with MacGahan in the Balkans twenty years before, 
who saw the fighting in the Phihppines, — and the men 
whom England sent to Cuba. Russell's biographer, 
John B. Atkins, came out for The Times, Phil Robinson, 
E. F. Knight and H. C. Seppings Wright were in the 
field through a portion of the war, and Geoi^ Lynch> 
who has seen service in several campaigns, represented 
the DaUy Chronicle. 

The men sent out by the Associated K«ss had to 
endure the cruel fate of anonymity. They were parts 
of the great news gathering machine to which men 
must sacrifice personal brilliancy and originality. 
Melville E. Stone, its general manager, declares that 
the Associated Press scored its first notable war success 
during the war with Spain. The "A. P." of course 
had its fleet of despat<^ boats plying to Haitien and 
Jamaican cable stations and the bureau placed scores 
of men at strate^c points. Four men wrote a com- 
posite story of the sinking of the Merrimac and the 
interweaving was so cleverly done that the separate 
parts elude the reader today. Howard Thompson 
was one of the men who rose above the anonymity 
of his service. It was his story of the surrender of 
self-government to Cuba that was made a part of the 
Congressional Record by a unanimous and voluntary 
Act of Congress. Then the "A. P." had Edward 
Graham on the bridge oi the Brooklpn with Commodore 



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482 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

Schley yrbea Cervera's fleet was destroyed, and at 
the same action W. A. M. Croode stood under the for- 
ward bridge of Admiral Sampson's flagship, the New 
York, and these were the only non-combatant eye- 
wttnesaes of the battle of Santiago aboard the battle- 
ships themselves. 

No Spanish war correspond^it was better known 
than Ridiard Harding Davis. His had beoi a world 
experience as a reporter. In the war between Greece 
and Turk^ he was out for the London Times. Frederic 
^^ers, who saw one coronation in Moscow, was turned 
away from the nert, and of the ei^t Americans in 
the cathedral Davis was one, comiting also as one 
of the five newspaper men who were spectators of the 
ceremony. Since the war in Cuba he has widened his 
eiqperience as a war correspondent by his service in South 
Africa and in the Port Arthur campaign, and today 
he is just back from Mexico. Nearly all that was most 
importaot in the Cuban fighting came under his obser- 
vation. Before the blowing up of the Maine he made 
a trip through four of the six provinces of the island. 
One afternoon more than two months after the f at^ul 
event in the harbor of Havana he was seated on 
a hotel porch at Key West, where for many wedcs 
he had sp^it most of his time, when a boy rode 
up on a bicycle with a telegram for the Herald reporter. 
The Journal correspondent read it over the shoulder 
of his confrere and watched him consult his code book. 
The message read, " Rain and Hail." lie code gave 
the meaning, "War is declared. Fleet is ordered to 
sea." In a few minutes the wildest excitement was 
reigniiLg in that hotel; luggage was dumped in heaps 
into the halls; hackmen were lashing their horses 
through the streets towards the wharf. War was 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR 423 

b^un and the reports meant to catch the fleet which 
was to sail at four in the morning. 

For ten days Davis was on board the New York. 
He saw the bombardment of Matanzaa; thai msued 
the "rocking chair period " at Tampa while the troops 
waited tmlil it was certain that Camera would not be 
able to interfere with the transportation of the army 
to Cuba. He saw the famous charge of the Rou^ 
Riders at San Juan, when "General Hawkins with 
hair white as snow, and Roosevelt, with the blue polka- 
dot handkerchief a la Havdock floating out straight 
behind his head like a guidon, were the two most con- 
spicuous figures," and in the Porto Rico campaign 
it happ^ied to fall to Davis to receive the surrender 
of a town. He "keq>s the key of the cartel as a sou- 
venir of the fact that once for twenty minutes he was 
mayor and military governor and chief of police of 
Coamo.*' Stephen Crane was present at that event 
also, which has a pleasing resemblance to that of Stee- 
vens and his comrades of the craft in the war in Greece 
in 1897. 

The reporters had their list of casualties as well as 
the men who fought the battles. Four correspondents 
were wounded. Edward Marshall, in the ambuscade 
in which Hamilton Fish and others lost their lives, 
emptied his revolver at his foes and was hit near the 
spine by a Mauser bullet. Unable to make any bodily 
movement, he, with several others wounded, undertook 
to sing the " Star Spangled Banner " to let his comrades 
know he was not dead. Told that he oould not live, 
he wrote his despatch to his paper while bleeding on 
a blanket. James Whigham and James F. J. Archibald 
also were wounded and James Creehnan was hit in 
the diatge wludi he led. Archibald was in command 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



424 FAMOUS WAR CORRESPONDENTS 

of some men at the time a squad was landed from the 
Gussie and was the only man hurt in that affair. Mr. 
Lyman of the Associated Press contracted a fever at 
Siboney from which he died a month after the war. 
Of Frank Collins of the Boston Jourtudt Richard Hard- 
ing Davis writes in terms of deserved eulogy, saying 
that ** racked with fever and worn out with lack of 
food, he died, as much a martyr to the war as the wsa 
in tmifonn who were killed by Mauser bullets." 



nourribyGoOgIc 



INDEX 



Abdvl Kmbih Pabsa. tM. 
Alexander ZI, Csu of Ruaaia, 

108, 106. 
Andencoi, Wiadiey, comapoad' 

cnt in American Civil 

War, S80. 
AndtsKxi, Bt^MTt. SSI, SflS, S72, 

403. 
Arabi Ahmed (Arabi Faaha), 

175-178, 197. 
Archibald, James F. J., cor- 

reapoiident in Cuba, 123. 
Arndd, Matthew, S3. 
Arnoldi, General, 168, 170. 
Aahmead-Bartlett, EUis ; 

quoted, I. 
Awociated Press, the, 190, MI, 

434. 



Bakxb, Rat SijunrAno; 

quoted, 414. 
Baker, Col., Valentine, 166, ISO, 

200. 
Barr^, Richard, correspondent 

in Russo-Japanese war, 190. 
Barton, Miss Clara, 480. 
Basbi-Bazouks, 101, 116, 141, 

163, 173, 174, Edward H. 

VisettJly as a Baahi- 

Bazouk, 27;jf. 
Balloaiis, as despatch bearers, 

isqff. 

Battles: 

Abarzuza^Estdla, 187; 
Abu Klea, 183. 206; 
Abu TSiu. qf. Gubat; 
Aleundria, bombardment ot, 

10.17^..M^.,«7tf.; 
Ahua,the, II, 4S; 



Antietam, SOO; 

Atbara, the, 21S, 313; 

Balaclava, 44; 

BaU'a Blujf, 397; 

BdmoDt.803; 

BuenaVisU,Sd3.S64; 

Bull Run, 56/., 381, 398, 8S4, 

397; 
CashgiII,.^.EIObeid; 
Cerro Gordo, 806; 
Ch^iultepec, 807; 
Chattanooga, 397; 
Chickamauga, 263; 
Churubuaco, 368; 
CfHitreras, 368; 
Cwunna,?; 
Courcelles, 76; 
Djunis, 163; 
Domoko,311; 
Elandslaagte, 817; 
El Caney, 846: 
El Obdd (Cashgill). 174, t4S, 

269; 
ElTeb, 18(tf.,201; 
Ferkeh,301; 
Rve Forks, 986 : 
Fort Sumter, iMmbardment 

<rf. 368.398,403; 
Prederickaburg, 268, 382.395; 
FriedIaad,T; 

Gettysburg, 379, 382. 887 ; 
Gravelotte. 10, 14, 15, 29, 76; 
Guantanamo, 416; 
Gubat (Abu Kru), 183, 208; 
Idstedt, 83; 
Inkermann, 47; 
Island ;No. 10,382,888; 
Le Mano, «55, 257; 
liao Yang, 87; 
Malakud,the,8»; 
MJtniUB8y.418; 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



426 



Battles, conHTtued: 

Mara-lsr-Tour, 14; 

ftfati,808; 

BIeluiia,3D8; 

BIetfe,«l; 

MolinodelRey, 368; 

Montei«7, 861, 363; 

OmdurmaD, 31S, 314, 326; 

Ping-Yang, 336; 

Pirot, 183/.; 

Plevna, 29, 101, 106, 147. 
171; 

Quebec, capture of, 11; 

B«tuerta,S; 

SaarbrUck, 15,75, 108; 

Sadowa, 10,69,380; 

SaltiUo, 363; 

San Juan, 4S8; 

Saotiago, 422; 

Sedan, 17, 60, 76, 232; 

Shiloh. 380, 386; 

Shipka Pass, 102; 

Sdferino, 258; 

South ^fountain, 399; 

&>ottsj4raiiiB, 380; 

Tamai, 156, 181, 203; 

Tel-el-Kebir, 197#.; 

Ulundi, 100; 

Velestino, S09; 

Vera Cruz, 366; 

VHIm de Io3 Navarroa, 8; 

«onviIle,76; 

WUderaeas. the. 378, 884, 397, 
406; 

Yalu, tbe, 340. 
Bazaine, Marshal, 21. 
BeaU, John Yatea, Wlff. 
Beit, Alfred. 189. 
Bell, C. F. Moberly, 10. 
Benedek, G«d. Ludnig Von, 59. 
Bennett, James Gordon, 138, 

140, 981ff-> iB5, 99i. 
Beresford, Lmd Charles, 176. 
Bicycle, used by corre8p<radenta, 

166, 188, 223. 334. 
Biimarck, Prince Von, 10, 16, 

eO, 63, 66. 78. 84. 
Blood. Sir Bindtm, 823, 326. 



BoQsal, Stephen, correapondmt 
in Cuba, 420. 

Boyle, Frederick, correspondeat 
in Russo-Turkish war, 147. 

Bourbaki, Gen. C. D. S., 118. 

Brackenbuiy, CapL Harry, cor- 
respondent in Austro-PruB- 
sian war, 69. 

Bradlaugh. Charles. 229. 

Bra^, Captain Braxton, 364. 

Bro^s, Shirley; 
quoted, 10. 

Brown, Sir George, 362. 

Browne, Hablot, «48. 

Browne, Junius T., correspond- 
ent in American Civil War, 
870, 889, 300. 

Browning, Oscar, quoted, 304. 

Bulgarian Massacrea of 1876, 

im. 

Buller, Gen. Sir Bedvers, 110, 

200, 210, 818, 333. 
Burleigh, Bennet, 102-23; char- 
actoized, 192, 196, 230; 
Southern soldier in Ameri- 
can Civil War, 192; first 
lij^erary work, 193; escf^ie 
from Fort Delaware, 194; 
attempt to lib^ ate Lake 
Erie prisoners, 194 ; his case 
an international problem, 
196; newspaper work in 
America, 196; joins the 
Daily Tdegrapk, 197; at 
battle of Tel-d-Kebir, 197; 
his battle "scoop," 199; 
hurries from Londm to 
1Vinikat,200;atElTeb,201; 
scores with the news, 202; 
helps save brokoi square 
at Tamai, 203; sending the 
news, 207 ; at Abu Klea, 208; 
exploit at Abu Kru, 208; 
sends news of safe^ of 
Desert Column, 210; 
journey to Kaasala, 211; 
at the Atbsra. 213; at 
Omdurmaii, 126 ; scenes with 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Burleigli, Bomet, continued ; 
news at Marchaiid and 
Fashod&, 218; The Tiuua 
uses his story of Omdurman, 
S19; campaign in Mada- 
gaacar, 220; in the Ashanti 
campaign, 223; uses bicycle 
in Asbanti, 2S4; escapes 
bom Ladystnith, 225; flags 
train to interview Joubert, 
826; uses Prayer Boc^ to 
score a "scoop," 227; later 



. _ * gen- 

eral reporter. 220; death, 
289; tribute of Field-Mar- 
shal Wood. 230: 
mentioned, 15S, 298; 
quoted, 25, 27, 205/., 213, 
214. 210. 219, 223/. 
Burnaby, Col. Frederick. 117, 



in American Civil V 

Cabui Tou«, cost of War Des- 
patches, 350, 415. 
Cameron, John Alexander, oot- 

respondent of tlie Standard, 

178,200. 
Campbdl, Sir Colin, 49, 53. 
Caprera, Garibaldi's Island, 200. 
"Captious Critic, " the, <^. Vizet- 

dly, Montague. 
Cardigan, Lord, 44. 
Carleton, Edmund. 384. 
Carson. , correspondent in 

American Civil War, 380. 
CaabgiU. Massacre of, i^. El 

Obeid, under Battles. 
Cavagnari, Sir Louis, 175. 
Couorship of War Correspcmd- 

ence, 22. 96, 188, 280, S50, 

379, 389, 413. 
Ceterayo, Zulu King, 110. 
Chaffee, Gen. Adna B.. 347. 
Cluuusy, Gen. Antmne E. A., 

254f. 



tEX «7 

"ChiQMtrral," correspondent in 
Mexican war of 1846, 7. 353. 

Chapman, J. C, (xirrespondent 
in E^t, 273, 280. 

Charge 3 the light Brigade, 
m- 

Charge of Mahmud, 809. 

Charge of Gen. Pickett at 
Gettysburg, SS2. 

Charge of 2l8t Lancers at 
Omdumiaii, 315/., 327. 

Chelmsford, Lord, 110. 

Churchill, Lady Randolph, 189. 

Churchill, Lord Randolph, 32], 
329. 

Churchill, Winston Spenccr:per- 
sonalappearance, 320; early 
life, 321 ; in Cuba, 321 ; with 
the Malakand Field Force. 
322; fighting in the Him- 
alayas, 324; in the Soudan. 
826; at battie of Omdur- 
man, 326; his books, 320, 
826; in South Africa, 327; 
captured by Boers in affair 
of armored train, 327; 
escape from Pretoria, 330; 
with Gen. Buller and Lord 
Boberb, 333; narrow escape 
with life, 334; uses bicycle 
to score. 334; in the Com- 
mons and the Cabinet, 335; 
quoted, 3, 320, 824. 828f., 
830f. 

Cinematogr^ih, use of by cor- 
respondents, 156, 188. 

"Qere, Bertie," t^. Vizetelly, 
Edward H. 

Coffin, Charles Carleton: cor- 
respondent in American 
Civil War, 380/., char- 
acter and equipment, 881; 
scores at Forts Donelson 
and Henry, 381, and at 
Get^sburg, 882; in Wilder- 
ness campaign, 383; on 
raising flag over Fort Sum- 
ter. 385: in Richmond with 



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Coffin, CSuurlea C, aontauud: 
VTes. Lincoln, 880; later 
years, 986; 
mentioned, 396; 
quoted, S7i. 

Colbum, Richard T., corre- 
apondent in American Civil 
V/ti S7», 389. 

Cdlina, Frank, in Cuba, iU. 

Commune, tbePari8,89,L]8.e54. 

Condor, H. M> S., at Alexandria, 
17«. 

Conway, Moncure D., his ex- 
ploit at Gravelotte, 1^. 

Omyngham, , American 

Civil War correspondait, 
380. 

Cook, Joel, American Civil War 
correspondent, 380. 

Crane, Stephen, in Spanish- 
American WEU", 417J7., 483. 

Crealock. Gen., 111. 

Creelman, James: in Chino- 
J^wnese war. 836; at 
atorming of Ping- Yang, 336 ; 
has story of battle of th« 
Yalu from Admiral Ito, S40 ; 
woundml, 341; at siege of 
Port Arthur, 341; reports 
massacre by Japanese, 343; 
in Greco-Turkish war, 344; 
race for the wire, S4fi; in 
Spanish- American war, 346 ; 
leads charge at El Caney, 
346; wounded, 349, 4«3: 
in the Philippines, S49; 
race with a woman for the 
cable, S5D; 
moitioned, 27; 
quoted, IffS, 337, 340, 343, 
345/., 347/. 

Cyprus, English oocupaticm of. 



27S. 



Dana Chasixb A., . 

Davis, Jefferson, SA3. 

Da\-is, Bichard Harding, work 

aa a war eorrespoodent. 



tf., 407. 



of a town, 4S8; 
mentioned, 20, 320: 
quoted, 409, 411. 418. 423/. 
Davu WilUam E., corr^poadoit 

in American Civil War,391. 
Ddane, John Thaddeus, editor 

of The Timet, 81, 8fi. 39, 

40, 48, £8. 
Desert Columnin Soudan, 210. 
Despatch Boats, 418, 421. 
Dewey, Admiral George, 416. 
Dobson, H., correspcmdoit in 

Russo-Turkish war, 153. 
Dombrowaki, Jaroslaw, 89, 110. 
Dor^, Gustave, 248. 
Douay, Gen. Felix C, 119. 
Doyle, T., corrrapondeat in 

American Civil War, 380. 
DuSerin, Lord, 184-186. 
Dumas, Alexaniire, jiire, 259. 

EoTTT, EngUsh occupation of, 

281. 
Ellis, "Dan,"Uni<Hi giiide,398. 
Emin Pasha, 282. 
Evans, Sir De Lacy, 87. 

FABRAauT, Adiobaii David 
Gi.Aaaow, 379. 40^. 

Favre, Jules. 65, 83. 

F^int, Major Grover, corre- 
spondent in Cuba, 410. 

Forbes, Arch'iiald: toonng coina 
in London stTeet, 60; taken 
on by Daily JVeut, 72; 
early fife, 74; sent to war at 
1870 by Moming AdeeHiter, 
.75; at SoarbrUck, 75; at 
Gravelotte. 76; at Sedan. 
77 ; sees surrender of N^M- 
leon m, 78; at Metz,80; 
amazement at hia speedy 
reports, 81; his ezplana- 
tion of his methods. 82; 
at nege of Paria, 83; first 
to enter Paris, 84; famous 
score on news fnnn Paris, 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Foibea, Ardubald, eonimuMi.' 
S6: sees the Germao entry, 
87; beftten few hours by 
Russell (g.v.), 88; in Paris 
last days of Commune, 80; 
ordered shot twice in five 
minutes, 91; carries Com- 
mune tidings to Loudon, 
03; in India and Spain, M; 
in Servia, M; in Busso- 
Turldah war, 96; methods 
used, SS; long rides, 100; 
before I^evna, 101; deco- 
rated by the Czar, 102; in 
the Shipka Pass, im; brings 
tidings to the Ceor, 105; 
Plevna battles, 106; in 
Afghan war and Bunnah, 
107; in Zululand, 107; on 
Isandula field of massacre, 
108; death of Prince Im- 
perial, 108;batt]eof Ulundi, 
lOfi; the ride from TJlundi, 
111; last years, 114; char- 
acterised, 60, 114; 
mentioned, t, 4, SI, !», 20, 
140, llil. 1S«, 166. 168. 
161//., 167, 168, 170, 173. 
17S, 100, 100, SS8, 8St, 37B; 
quoted, 14, 18, 7S, 76, 76, 78, 
8i, 82, 01, 95, 100, 103. 

F(H, John, ID Spanish-Americut 
war, 410. 

Franklin, I^y John, 188. 

f^eaner, James L., "Mustang," 
correspondent in Mexican 
warof 1846, 7, 361. 

Frere, Sir Baitle, 113. 

Funstmi, Gm. Frederick, 349. 

Furley, Sir John, quoted, 137. 

GAiiBinTA, LxoN, 118, i66. 
Garibaldi, Gen. Giuseppe, 258, 

266, 270. 
Gay, Sydney Howard, 399. 
Gibbs, Philip^. 
<a«dstone, nHliam Ewart, AS, 



Glenesk, Lord, 9, 821. 
Godktn, Kdwin I^iwrence, 28, 67. 
Goode, W. A. M., correapondent 

in Spaoish-American war, 

422. 
Gordon, Charles George, 208, 

210, 214, 218. 
Gourko. G^., 90, 117, 148. 
Goussio, George, 276. 
Graham, Edward, ctwrespond- 

ent in Spanisb-Ammcan 

war, 421. 
Graham, Gen. Sr Gerald, ISO, 

200, 205, 207. 
Grant, James, 70, 75. 
Grant, Gen. Ulysses S., 380, 

381, 389, 390, 397, 406, 407. 
Granville, Lord, 245; 

quoted, 1. 
Greeley, Horace, 357, 887. 
Green, "Duff," 857. 
Greene, Gen. Frances Vinton, 

147; quoted, 2, 28, 117, 

186, 144, 148, 158, 1S4. 
Gribay6doff, Valerian; 

quoted, 336. 
Gruneisen, Charles Lewis, 

pioneer correspondent, 5, 

Bff., 351, 352. 

Halsb. a. G., 4. 

Halleck, Gen. Henry W., 889. 

Halstead, Murat, correspondent 

in Franco-Prussian war, 15. 
Hands, , exploit at Grave- 

lotte, 14, 15. 
Etarmsworth, Alfred, 305. 
Harrison, Mrs. Burton, 263. 
Hartford, V. S. N.. 40^. 
Havdock, Gen. Sir Henry, 49, 75. 
Hearst. William Randolph, 349. 
Hdioon, H. M. S., 280. 
Henley, W. E.; 
quoted, 304. 
BCenningaen, C. F., 9. 
Herbat, St Leger, martyred 

correspondent, 200. 
Hicks Pasha, 197, 245, 269. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



430 



Hobson, Richmond P., 419. 
Hood, Thomas, 24B. 
Hooker. Gen. Joseph, 399, 402. 
House, £clwm H., correspondent 

in Americul Civil War, 308. 
Howard, the Hon. Hubert, 

martyred correspondent, 880. 
Hosier, C^t. Henry, corre- 

spcHident in the Austro- 

Prussian war, Sd. 
Hudson, Frederick, quoted, 351, 

40*^. 
Hugo. Victor, «49, 266. 

loMATiKFr. Gen. Count 
NiKOLii P., 100, 105, 170. 
Indian Mutiny, the, iSff. 
Ingram, Herbert, 248. 
Isuidula. massacre of, 107/ 
Ito, Admiral Count, 340. 

JfACKSOiT, John P., correspond- 
ent in Russo-Turlcish war 98 . 

James, lionel, correspondent 
in Manchuria and South 
Africa, 87. SS4. 

Jameson Raid, 189. 

Jerrold, Douglas, 3S. 48, 248. 

Johnson's Island, attempt to 
liberate Confederate prison- 
ers there, 194. 

Joubert. Gen. Petrus J., 226. 

Kass, fortress of, 271. 

Kasaala, expedition to, 411. 

KauSman. Gen. KonstanUn P., 
121, 123, lee, 130, 186. 

Kendall, George Wilkins: pio- 
neer correspondent, 3S%ff., 
3SS; style. 858; as a 
wit, 857; founds New 
OrUant Picayune, S57; early 
life, 357; with the Santa 
Fe expedition, 358; prisoner 
in City of Mexico, 860; 
in Mexican war, S6!^.; 
ci4)ture9 a cavalry flag, 
868; use of pony express, 
863. 370; dangers of riders. 



37S; use of despatdi ships. 
870; influence with Gen. 
Taylor, 364; with Gen. 
Scott's army, 366; under 
fire at Vera CruB, 366; 
reports Cerro Gordo hour 
by hour, 366; before City 
of Mexico, 367; detects 
Santa Anna's artifice, 368; 
commended in despatches, 
S6S: wounded, 869; scores 
cm the Treaty <rf Peace, 373 ; 
in Paris, and marriage, 373; 
death, 374. 

Khiva, 116. ItiUff. 

Khyber Pass, the, 107. 

Kingattm, William Beatty, cor- 
respondent in Ruaso-Turk- 
ish war, 178. 

Kipling, Rudyard, 46. 114, 155. 
203, 412; 
quoted, 304. 

Kitchener, Gen. Sir Herbert, 
188, 211. 312, 316; 
quoted, 804. 

Knight, Edward Frederick: as 
an amateur juggler, 286; 
in the Foreign Legion. 287; 
travels, 287; campaigns. 
287; OS a small boat saflw, 
288; as a treasure>hunter, 
286; in Madagascar, 28^.; 
reaches Antananarivo, 292; 
methods of eluding boycott 
on news, 298; unique posi- 
tion as a correaponaent. 
293; in plot to save the 
Queen, 296; sees surrender 
of the capital, 297; in Nu-- 
bian desert, 297jf.; dangers 
of the nurage, 290; night 
march and battle of Ferkeh, 
801; in Cuba. 302; under 
fire in Greece. 802; loses 
right arm in South African 
war.8(»; 
menticMied, 220, 421; 
quoted, i^SO, 291. 2»3, 2SS. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



corraspoDd- 
Civa War, 



Kravencho, Russian correspond- 

eat, £9. 
Kriloff, Gen. 148. 

L&BoucBERX, Henby, Corre- 
spondent in si^e of Paris, 

Lee, Gen. Robert E., 368, S88. 
S97. 

Leech, John, 33. 

Lemay, Gaston, 878. 

Lemon, Mark, S48. 

I^eSage, John M.. 197. 

Liefde, Jacob de, correspondeit 
in 1870. 70. 

"Ijght tliat Failed," Kiplmg's, 
114, 156. 

lincoln, Pres. Abraham, 54, 58, 
379, 384/., 393, 397, 400, 
4m, 40fi, 408. 

Lockhart, Gen. Sir William. 3a«. 

Longstreet, Gen. James, 263. 

Lowe, Col. Dniry, 110. 

Lumsden, Francis, co-respond- 
ent in Mexican war of 1846, 
357, 360. 364, 866, 370f. 

Ls^man, , correspondent in 

Spanish-American war, 424. 

MacDowau), «17, 318, 327. 

MacGahan, Jaouarius Aloysius: 
casket brought to the 
United SUtes, 115; Libera- 
tor of Bulgaria, 116; char- 
acterized. 117, 142, 144, 
147, 154; birth and boy- 
hood, 117; itt war of 1870, 
118; wanders about Europe, 
110; in the Crimea, 120; 
ride to Khiva, 121/.; thirst 
and sufleringa, 125; deep 
in desert sands, 129; joins 
the Russian column, 131; 
fall of Khiva, 1S2; in the 
hor^n, ISS; campaign 



•EX 481 

against the Turcomans, 
134;"coTers"the Vwffiniut 
affair, 136; in Carlist cam- 
paign, 136/.; narrow escape 
from death, 137; in the 
Arctic regions, 13^.; in- 
vestigatea Bulgarian mas- 
sacres, 140/.; in Russo- 
Turkisb war, 143/.; anUe 
broken, 143; chums with 
Gen. Skobeleff. 146; before 
Plevna, 147; scores mik 
news from Plevna, 151; 
death and funeral. 153; 
his son, 154; monument 
in Ohio, 154; 
mentioned, 2, 27, 20, OS, 99, 
106, 107. 174, 234, 481; 
quoted, 122, 124^., 126, 133, 
1S5/., 139. 14^. 

MacMsLon, Marshal, 26,89,93. 

Madagascar, Frencb conquest 
^22Q^. 

Maine, U. S. N., blown up, 409. 
411, 422. 

Maiiu, U. S. Hospital Ship, 180. 

Malakand Field Force, the, 
82l%(r. 

Marchand, Capt., and the 
Fashoda incident, 218. 

Manyatt, Copt. Frederick, 358. 

Marsoall, Edward, correspond- 
ent in Cuba, 423. 

McArthur, Gen. S4S. 

McClellan, Gen. George B.. 57, 
399. 

McCutlagh, Joseph B., corre- 
roondent in American Civil 
War, 380. 

Mejanel, M., exploit at Sedan. 
20. 

Menpes, Mortimer, quoted, 102. 

Memmac, U. S., oilier, sinkinK 
of, 421. 

Merv, <^. O'Donovan, Edmond. 

Millet, Francis D., correspond- 
ent in Russo-Turkisb war 
and in the Philippines. 9^, ; 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Kdlet, Ksncu D., eontuaud: 

107. 117, 161. «1: 
quoted, 144. 
Mdtke, Marslul Von, IS. 96. 30. 
fifoore. Sir John, 7. 
MUUer, F. Mu; 

quoted, SI. 
MUUer, Guatav, exploit at Metx. 

21,81. 
"Mustang," ef. FreaoeT, J. L. 

"NAHKueBB Hbboinb," the, e/. 

Stevena, MmlniiB. 
N^iolecMi m, 26. «1, 78, 108, 

118, ns, «£8. 
Jfasmyth, ChArlea, pioneer cor- 

Teapondent, 27. 
Neufddt, Clurles, 218. 
NewqMq>en: 

Alabama BefftMUr, S57; 

Artwrioan Eagle. 361 ; 

^flMTioan Star, 361; 

Baltimore Sun, 356, S6S; 

Bombay OaaetU, 273, 275; 

S(Mton Jounud, 380/., 888, 
424; 

CAuxyo rri&un«, 416; 

Cmeimutti Qaaettt, SOT; 

Cypruf Timet, 273; 

ilatfu Chronide, 1*^0,257,421; 

I>a% Graphic, The. 331 ; 

iXitljr ifait TAe, 190, 804, 
305, 311, 318; 

DaUy New, The, 10, 12. 17, 
20, 61. 63, 70, 78, 80, 83, 87, 
07, 107, 109, 135, 140, 145, 
148, 153, 158, 178, 2S2, 
«4fif., 255, 257. 870, 275, 
280; 

DaUn TeUgrajA, The, 66, 70, 
134, 178, 190, 193, 107, iHK, 
fmof., 212, 219/., 225. 227, 

foypluin Oaxtte, 37S, 381 ; 
Ftgaro, The, 258; 
QUugow Beraid, 76, 278; 
GrapAte, The Weekly, 157, 165. 
168, 190, 269; 



Barpei'M H'MiUy.26S.S93.402; 
ffotMton Ttiegra^. 196; 
lUvitnUi LonOon Nem. Ill, 

113,247.255,258,267.285; 
lUialmUd SporHTV Nem 257; 
Ladjfmith Lsr*. S18; 
haaim OaxetU, 11; 
London Sealtman, 70, 75; 
MandutUr Courier, 257; 
Morning Adtertitor, 10, 75, 

257j 
Morning Chronide. 6; 
Morning PoH, 9, 287, 303, 

321, 826, 851; 
Natioiuit IntetUifenotr. 857; 
Natumal Tdegraj^, 357; 
New Orieani Ddta, 853, 355, 

361; 
New Orleont /^icavKiw, 358, 

855, 360, 872; 
New OrUant Sun, 856; 
New OrleoMi Timet, 850; 
JV«u> York Berald. 10, 06, 

118, 123. 140. 144, 220. 

283. 284, 355. 377, 393. 

895, 402, 410. 416. -.^S; 
New York Independent, 285; 
New York Journal, 349, 410. 

422; 
New York Times. 270, 877/., 

New 'York TrOtmi, 10. 12, 

17, 19, 21, 357, 377, 386, 

380, 390, 393, 395, 898, 

400, 402, 400: 
New York World, 15, 17. 282, 

330, 343, 379. 389. 893, 

808, 402, 400; 
NiU^t Register, 851, 354; 
PaU MaU OtaeUe, IS, 30,255, 

805; 
Paris Clarion, 277; 
Pkiladelpkia Inquirer, SOS; 
PhUaddphia Pvblie Ledger, 

856; 
Pictorial Times, 248, 258; 
Son Francisco Chromde, 190; 
Southern lUustrated News, 193; 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



43S 



Newsp^ien, contimted; 

Stavdard, The, 70, 178. 907, 

871; 
Tampieo SetOitul, S61; 
Tivut of Egypt, 281: 
Tinua, The {London), B, 7, 9. 
<tl, K, SI, S8, 40. 42, 47, 
64, 67, 60, 67, 70, 87, 158, 
SIO, 232, 2A7, 287. 287, 296, 
802, SS4,S4S, 852,421; 
T. P:» Weekly, 286. 

Kewq»p«s: Cable Tolls. 10, 
18, 850; CircuUtionB, 10; 
War ErtTM, 10, 210. 

New Orlewu, cooditioiu in time 
of Mexican war, 354. 

Nightinmle, Florence, 89, 42. 

Noiris, Frank, in Cuba, 420. 

Ntffth, Col., the "Nitrate 
King," 67, 267. 

(yikmovAii, Eduond: char- 
act«med, 231; earlj years, 
232; in Fraitco-Fnusian, 
Carlist and Ruuo-Turkish 
wars, 232; personal appear- 
ance, 232, 237; journey to 
Merv, 28!^.; among the 
Tekk6 Tuicoroans, 234 ; final 
sally for Merv, 286; life 
there, 238; becomes chief 
Triumvir of Merv, 242; 
difficulties in leavins, 244; 
returns to England, 245; 
death at CashgUI, 246; 
mentioned, 270, 272; 
quoted, 231, 236#., 241/., 244. 

Osbon, B. S., correspondent in 
American Civil War, 379, 

Ogden, D'Orsay, 108. 
O'Shea, John Augustus, 267. 
Osman Digna, 172, 200. 206. 
Osman Pasha. 106, 147, 152. 
Painb, Ralpb D., 802; quoted 



Pandora, the, 13^. 

Peard, CoL, "Garibaldi's Eng- 
lishman." 260. 

Pearse. H. H. 5. correspondeat 
in the Soudan, 158. 

Phillips, WeadeU, SW. 

Pigeons, Carrier, as news 
bearers, 9, 84, 252. 

Polk, Pres. James K., 355, 364. 

Pcny Express, tor news pur- 
poses, 98, 102, 854, 370. 

Prayer Book, the, as an im- 
plement for a "scoc^." 
193, 227. 

Prince Imperial, death of the, 
108. 

Prior, Mdton, war artist, 109/., 
lis, 209, 225; 
quoted. 192. 

Pulitzer, Joseph, 344. 

Raodtset. Gkk. Codkt 

JoeEPH W., 103. 
Rae, George Broasou, in Cuba. 

409/., 419. 
Baglan, Lord, 11, 85, 43. 
R^h, Julian, 24; quoted, 

286. 
Beade, Charles, 33. 
Reid, Whitelaw, corre^ondent 

in American Civil War, 379, 

882,88^. 
Beuter's Agency, 12. 
Rhodes, CecU, 183, 189, 220. 
Rhodes, Frank, correapondent 

in the Soudan, 183, 189, 220. 
Ricalton, James, 100. 
Richardson, Albert Deane, cor- 

resptmdent in American 

Gvil War, 379, 887-S9S. 
Roberts, Lord. 23, 26. 226,833. 
Rcdiertson, Sir Forbes, 156. 
Robinson, Henry Crabbe, 

pioneer correspondent, 5-8. 

851. 
Robinson, Sir John. 10. 12, 17. 

22,71,75,81,245.281. 
Robinson, "Phil," in Cuba, 412. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



434 



BooMvdt, Theodore. 8«. 

Bundl, Sir WilUsm Honrd: 
teat to the Crbne&, 81; 
tMi]s work in Irdand, SC; 
birto, 85; ewly work in 
Londtm, 33; journey to the 
Crimea, 84; hordshipB, 8ff; 
exposes ■oldiers' suSerings, 
39; Appeals for nurses, 42; 
his letters overthrow the 
Aberdeen ministry, 42; 
■c c uscd of persecutiiig Lord 
Raglao. 43; the Cnmesn 
letters, 43/.; charae of the 
light Brigade, 4V.; origin 
ot the "thin, red line," 
43; capture of the BfaUkoS, 
47; return to En^and, 47; 
at the Cebt's cuDoatioa, 
48; given degree of LI. D., 
48; ordered to Lidia, 48; 
favored by Sir C<Jin Camp- 
bdl, 40; march toLucknow, 
SO; pillage of the city, <1; 
illness, £3; Sepoy enormities 
investigated, 58; in the 
United SUtes, Siff.; battle 
erf Bull Bun, 66; return to 
England, SS; pensioned by 
The Timet, Si; at battle of 
SadowB, 69; advocates 
"fixed ammunition," 60; 
in Franco-Prussian war, 
6(iff. ; at Sedan, 60; amusing 
episode with Hilary Skin- 
no:, 60; changipg methods. 
6S; siege of Paris, 63; 
rivalry with Forbes, 63; 
sees WiUielm proclaimed 
German Emperor, 64; 
scores on news of peace 
negotiations, 6fi; German 
entry into Paris, 65; tour 
with Prince of Wales, 66; in 
South Africa, 66; in Egypt, 
67; in Chile, 67; death, 67; 
character, SS, 67; 
mentioned, 9, 26, 74, 8S, 87, 
260,378; 



quoted, SO, 41, 4^., 47. 50. 
31, ». 61. 64, 80. 

SaliI, Gzoboe AaaosTus, 117. 

MS, tSS. 
Sampscm, Admiral W. T.. 440. 

422. 
SaaU Anna, Gen. A. L., S60. 

863,868. 
Santa Pe Expedition, the, ot 

1841, 83^. 
SanSt^ano.'AeatyofPewse.lST 
ScUcy, Commodore, W. S., 

420,422. 
Schuyler, Eugeoe, 117, 121, 124. 

142. 
Soott, Gen. WinSeid, 6, 0, 358, 

861, 863. 
Soovd, Sylvester, ooneqMDdatt 

in Cuba, 4iqf., 410. 
Semmes, Baf ad. 369. 
Seward, W. H., Secretary of 

SUte, 54. 
Seymour, Sir Beauchamp, 178. 
Shand, Akxaadcr Innia, 

quoted, 8. 
Sheridan, Gen. Philip, 13, 18. 

60,77. 
Sherman, Geo. W. T.. 380. 895. 
Sitses: 
OiBrlestoD. 283; 
Lucknow, 30; 
I^ysmith, SIT, 384; 
Metz, SO; 
Paris, by the Germans, 83, BS, 

230,255; 
Paris, the Commune, SO, IIS; 

254: 
Petetaburf^897; 
Hevna, ef . Buno-Turldsh war ; 
Port Arthur, first siege, 842; 
SdMstcqwl, ^, Crimean war; 
Vicksbur 

in IVanco-I^nissian war, 61/. 
Skobdeff, Gen. MikhaaXHmitri- 

vitch. 29, 09, 113, 122, 134. 

143, 158, 174, 234, 240. 
Slatin Pacha, 269. 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



Smalley, George Washburn, 12, 
378, S07; his work in 
transition period of war 
correroondence, 1^. ; his 
work ui Amoican Civil 
Vlat,S&9ff.; 
quoted,lS,2!t, 48, 106,375,401. 

Stanley, Henry M., «8^. 

Stanton, E. M. S., Secretary of 
War, 884, 40d. M8. 

Steamships, to expedite news, 
S70.37«;rf.De9patchBoats. 

Stedman, Edmund Clarence, 
Gorrespondoit in American 
CivU War, 879, SftS, S97/. 

Steevoia, George Waningtoa: 
death at Lat^mith, 304, 
810; combination of scholar 
and journalist, 804; liter- 
ary style, 804, 319; career 
at school, 305; in Greco- 
Turkiah war, 806/f.; his 
outfit, 800; at Elassona, 
307; at Meluna, 308; at 
Larissa, 308; at Velestino, 
309; receives surrender of 
Vo!o, 810; at Domoko, 311 ; 
in the Soudan, 812/.; at 
the Atbara, 813; at Om* 
durman, 314; in South 
Africa, 317Jf. ; siege of Lady> 
smith, 317; keeps garrison 
in good cheer, 318; funeral, 
319; characterized. SID; 
quoted, 806, 809, 812, 814. 

Stevens, iSJn Bfolvina, the 
"Nameless Heroine," 892. 

Stevens, Thomas, correspond- 
ent in East Africa, 282. 

Stewart, Gen. Sir Hvbvt, 188. 
189,208. 

Stickney, J. L.,oorrespoodaitat 



.416. 

SttdetoS, Gen. 108. 

Stuart, Gen. J, E. B., MS. 

Suleiman Pacha, 102. 

Swedish Intelligence, early ex- 
ample of war correspond- 
ence, S. 



Tatlor, Gkk. Zachabt, 0, 302, 
361. 

TchsTiaieS, Gen. Mikhail J., 94. 

Telegraph, in war ct^respond* 
enc6, 9, 1^., 802. 320. 
828, 845/.; e^. CaUe 
Tolls. 

Thackeray, William Makepeace. 
82, 248. 857. 

Thompson, Howard, in Cuba, 
421. 

Thousand, the, t^. Garibaldi. 

T<rfjin, M. F.; 
quoted, 405. 

Todleben. Gen. Count Froiu 
E. I., 107. 

Tokar, relief of, 180, iHIQjf. 

Townsoid, George Alfred, cor- 
respondent in American 
Civil War. 875, 880. 

T^velyan, Geoi^ Macauley, 



Victor, Aounuel, 258, 260. 

Victoria Cross, the, 4. 208. 

Villard, Henry, correspondent 
in American Civil War, 379, 
307/. 

Villier), Frederic: Character- 
ized, 155, 191; methods of 
work, 155; distances trav- 
ded, 156; youth, 156; taken 
on the Qrapkic, 157; in 
Servian war. 158/.; first 
under fire, 160; joins the 
Turks, 164; makes thumb- 
nail sketchM, 166 ; in Busso- 
Turkish war, 167/.; adven- 
ture in a wine-cellar. 169; 
before Plevna, 171 ; thought 
by Forbes to be kiUed. 172; 
in Bfalta, 174; in the Afghan 
war, 174; around the worid, 
175; in Egypt, 1T<; bom- 
bardment of Alexandria, 
175; looting of the ci^, 
178; relief of Tokar, 180; 
at El Teb, 180; m the 
broken square at Tanuu, 



D,g,t7„lb,.GOOgIC 



436 



ViUiera, Frederic, eontiiated: 

181; to AbyssiQia, 182; with 
tlie GordtHi relief expedi- 
tion, 182; in Uie Servo- 
Bulgarian war, IBS; rac- 
ing half round the world, 
184; at Chicago, 188; 
Chino-Japanese war, 188, 
190; Greco-Turkish war, 
188; iD the Soudan witli 
agun, 188; guest of Cecil 
Rnodes, 189; mtssea the 
Jameson raid, 180; the 
Bon war, 189/.; again 
reported dead, 190; lectur- 
ing, 188, 190; the Russo. 
Jt^Msese war, 190; lat» 
campuens, 191 ; 

mentioned, 91, 94, 99, 101, 
ie«, 844, 422; 

quoted, 30, 69, 153. 157/, 
181. 169. 176, 177, 181, 186. 
Virffiniut, the affair of the, 136. 
Vizetelly, Edward Henry: with 
Garibaldi in 1870, 271; in 
Asia Minra', 27^. ; becomes 
a Baahi-Basouk, 271; in 
Cypraa, 873; in Egypt, 273 
/.; keeps a half-hourly diary 
of the bombardment of 
Alexandria. 276; the march 
out of the city, 879; goes to 
Zansibar for James Gordon 
Bennett, 281/.; carries 
American flag to meet H. 
M. Stanley, 283; death, 
986; "Bertie aere," 870; 

mentioned, 831,247; 

quoted, 276^., 280. 
Vizetdly, Emert Alfred: 
youngest war COTreroond- 
ent, 247; in Paris during 
siege by Gwmans, 8M; 
story of defeat of Gen. 
Chanzy, iSS; in Paris 
through the Commune, 8A6 ; 
translattx- of Zcda, 2S7; 

quoted, 247, 25Sf. 
Visetdly, Frank Horaoe. visits 



Boer war priMners' camps 
at Bermuda, 285. 

Visetelly, Frank: sketches the 
child of Napoleon m, 858; 
at Solferino, 258; with Gar- 
ibaldi and the Thousand, 
868/.; with Garibaldi on 
Ci^rera, 260; in the Ameri- 
can Civil War, 860/.; joins 
the South by the "under- 
ground route, " 861 ; hon<wed 
for courage, 868; drawings 
treated as contraband ^ 
war, 263; his account of the 
bombardm^it of Charles- 
ton, 264; runs the blockade. 
806; in the Carlist war 
287 ; at the bombardment of 
Alexandria, 268; death at 
El Ob^, 269; memOTial. 
870; 
mentioned, 846, 247. 

Vi2ete]ly, Henry Richard: 
associate founder lUva- 
traUi London Nnoa, 848; 
founder of Pictorial Times, 
248; Paris correspc»ident 
of the Newt, 249; u Paris 
in siege times, 250; sends 
despatches by balloon, 251; 
with General Chanxy, 854; 
in Paris in the Commune, 
854. 

Visetelly, Mmitague: in Abys- 
sinia, 257; the "C^itious 
Critic, " 257; his career, 257. 

Vuetdly,tbe family, 248. 

W^R COKBZSIOKOENT, the: 

changing conditions of the 
profrasion, I/.; why needed, 
3; his work, 3; qualifica- 
tions, 4; early correspond- 
ents, Hff., 35\f.; expense 
of his news, 10, S50, 418; 
early "ertraa," 10; transi- 
tion peiod in 1870, 1^.. 
63, 79; the censorship, 82; 
ot cor- 



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yorrespondent, eot 
respondents, 26; 
rcDdered by them, 27; not 
obsolete, 28; power of pub- 
licity, 80. 191; memorials 
of, 68, 114, 154. 246, 270, 
375; methods in 1877, MJ., 
167; in 1861-5, 376ir.; in 
1898, 400/.; outfit, 806; 
deaths in the service, 163, 
ISS. 209, 220, 270, 819, 
880, 424. 
Wars and Campaigns: 

Afghan (1878), 107, 174; 

Algerian, (1871), 271; 

American (1861-5), 192, 260, 

375; 

Aflhanti, 222 ; 

Austro-Fruaaian, (1806), 59, 
267, 386, 397; 

Austro-Sardinian, 258; 

Carliat, 8/., 04. 136/., 832, 
267; 

Crimean, 28, 31, 84; 

Cuban, 321,400/.; 

Chino-JapancK. 188, 336; 

Daniah(1850), 33; 

Dongola expedition, 208; 

Egyptian, 175. 197; 

Franco-Pnuaian, IS, 60, 232, 
240, 255. 257; 

Garibaldi's Sicilian Expedi- 
tion, 258: 

Gordon Relief ExpeditJon. 208 ; 

Greco-Turldah (1897). 188, 
287. 302,805,344; 

Hicks Pasha's expedition, 
245,269; 

Hunza-Nagar expedition 1891, 
287; 

Italian Campaign in Abyssinia 
257; 

MatlMgttyf f French Con- 
quest, 220, 288; 

M^akaad Field Fanx, 322; 

Mexico and United States 
(1846), 6, 0,351; 

Nile Campaign, 183; 



)EX 487 

Peninsular (1808-0), 7; 

PhiKppines, 349/., 416, 421; 

BusBoJapanese, 25, 228,422; 

Busso-Turkish, 96, 117, 143, 
232,416; 

Servian (1876), »4. 158; 

Servo-Bulgarian, 183; 

Soudan (1898), 188,812; 

South African. 24, 225, 308. 
817.827,422; 

^tanish-American, 802, 846, 
400; 

Tirah Campaign, 322 ; 

Zulu (1870), 66. 107. 
Washburae, Elihu, 110, 137. 
WeUea, Gideon, Secretary of 
Navy, 379. 403, 406, 408. 
Wellington, Duke of, S3 ; 

quoted, 6. 
Whigham, James, in Cuba, 423. 
White, Holt, exploit at Sedan, 

™ "-^■ 

White, Bichard Gnut, 898. 

Wilhelm I. of Germany. 15, 

18, 60, 63/., 77, 88. 
Vnikeson , Samuel, corr^<mdent 

in American Civil War, 379. 
WiUde, Franc B., in Amaican 

Civil War, 386. 
VTiIliams. Gen. Sir Frederick 271. 
^Iliams, George Forrester, c<»- 

respondeot in Civil War, 

380. 
Wing, Henry E.. in Civfl War, 

379, 406ir. 
Wolseley, Sir Garnet. 66. 107, 

113, 107, 211; 
quoted, 1. 
Wood, Sir Evelyn, 48. 67; 

quoted, 230. 
Worth. Gen, W. J., 366, 368. 
Wright, H. C. Seppinss, 421. 

YiMAai, Gm., (Marquis Yam- 

agata),841. 
Yates, Edmund, 248. 

ZimiZBUANN, Gen., 100. 



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